Mobile Banner Ad Networks versus Banner Ads

We call ourselves a mobile advertising network. So (of course!) we’re always getting asked by investors, advertisers, and publishers how we compare to large banner ad networks.

The simple answer is “Oh, banner ads don’t work. So we’re already ahead of the game by not serving banner ads”.

We recently got into a little trouble for this comment. Basically the feedback was: “Who are you to say that banner ads don’t work? Players like iAd, Admob, and Millenial Media are “killing it”!

I don’t totally disagree, so let me clarify our stance. Banner ad networks have a lot going for them. They can reach hundreds of millions of users in minutes, their ability to target users is increasing everyday, and they’re able to add-on some pretty cool stuff (rich media, video, etc). Therefore, for advertisers that value those features, “Banner Ad Networks” are still forces to be reckoned with.

What we’re talking about, though, is “Banner Ads” and “Pop-ups”, the achilles heal of all “Banner Ad Networks”. That’s right, the Networks have some great things going for them, but the ad units themselves, the actual 320×48 pixel ads and 320×480 pop-ups. These things are proving time and time again to be ineffective. They are small, disruptive, easy to click out of and annoying to all!

The issues with display ads on smartphones are well known: they’re tiny, they’re not well targeted and they’re a poor fit for the experience.” – Digiday

As long as Banner Ad Networks serving ad units that are being ignored and clicked out of because of their size, shape, and disconnect from content, they are not going to be an ideal solution. It doesn’t matter how you dress them up, or where you put them, if no one’s looking.

That’s all we were saying.


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