How positively do you view interactive advertising as a communications tool? Even today, there are relatively few advertisers who have used interactive advertising, partly because of myths promoted about interactive advertising and possibly because of bad experiences. The first 468 by 68 pixel banner ad was placed on Hotwired in 1995 and the call-to-action 'Click here!' generated a clickthrough of 25%. Since then, the clickthrough rate (CTR) has fallen dramatically with many consumers suffering from 'banner blindness' - they ignore anything on a web site that looks like an ad. The Doubleclick compilation of ad response (www.doubleclick.com) shows that today the average CTR is between 0.2% and 0.3%. This low response rate combined with relatively high costs of over £20 per thousand ads served has seemingly made some marketers prejudiced against interactive advertising. But we will see that there are many innovative approaches to interactive advertising which are proved to increase brand awareness and purchase intent. For example, there are now many other ad formats such as Skyscrapers and MPUs (multi-purpose advertising units) and rich-media ads with animation, audio or video or data capture and interaction. This is indicated by Figure 8.18 which uses large rectangle MPUs as well as some traditional banners which will receive lower click-through rates. Given these limitations to banner ads, most media owners, digital marketing agencies and industry bodies now refer to 'Interactive advertising' which is more suggestive of the range of options for rich-media ads, data capture ads and large-format ads such as skyscrapers.
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