How attention flows on the web
Those who sell display advertising refer to this format as though it’s relevant to everyone who uses the web – much like live broadcast television advertising is utterly unavoidable.
I firmly believe this format, despite being plastered everywhere, only appeals to a certain type of user who are by-and-large in the minority. Furthermore such advertising is only applicable to a very limited set of products and services.
The idea that a ‘hover’ is a more applicable measure of success than a click on an advert is questionable. The correlation is trivial in either case and while I see it is possible to generate revenue from this medium and to gain further incremental performance gains via better use of data, I wonder whether this area is ultimately a dead-end.
Danah Boyd is great on this in Who clicks on ads? And what might this mean? by considering who is responding and thus who is being targeted when 99% of web users do not click an ad within a monthly timeframe.