Over the last decade we have seen a massive shift in advertising – gone are the days when you advertise in the local newspaper to get the word out – online advertising has literally taken over leading us to think what is next for the advertising world. Not so long ago (let’s say 5 years or so) online advertising was in its birth – this period aptly coined the “commercial endeavor” with millions of websites appearing from nowhere. It all began with the banner ad which proved to be a lucrative form of advertising. Companies such as yahoo made millions, charging anywhere from $40 to $150 to run a banner ad through their sites. With Yahoo being one of the most frequented sites these banner ads proved successful for advertisers bringing in a lot of extra revenue.

As soon as most people had access to the internet glossy magazine ads were a thing of the past and online advertising became the norm generating a lot more traffic than a typical magazine or newspaper. With banner ads, branding became even more important and marketers and advertisers were going crazy. However, after some time, like anything the novelty began to wear off and online advertisers were trying to think of more ways to make their own brands more publicly visible and cost effective. As the banner ad began to die a slow death a better more improved ad began to emerge – enter the sidebar ad. Very similar to banner ads, the difference being these ads ran vertically down the page – giving it more attention and difficult to avoid. The sidebar ad proved more effective, no matter how much you scroll down there is always going to be some form of advertisement on your right hand side, unlike the banner ad that you can get rid of by just scrolling down slightly.

The Evolution of Online Advertising

The Evolution of Online Advertising

Next is the pop-up ad – a type of ad that we’re all too familiar with. You’re reading something interesting online and then suddenly from nowhere an ad pops up, flashing in the centre that requires you to press X to get rid of it. Annoying for the person browsing but more than effective for the advertiser. Even more annoying than the pop-up ad is the floating ad – similar to the pop-up ad, but usually bigger the floating ad does what its name suggests – it floats all over the page when you first open a website, lasting at least thirty seconds it blocks anything that you are trying to get access to. As frustrating as they are though these kinds of ads work – they physically require us to click out of them, they flash, are colorful and are usually animated grabbing the attention of the person browsing. In the same family of pop-ups and floating ads there is the unicast ad – the difference being that these ads speak to you.


So maybe you choose to not read the others, you can’t avoid not listening to them while you try to click out them. These ads are becoming more and more popular especially with companies trying to improve us with fitness and self-help. They play sympathy cards, getting the reader’s attention by drawing on their own similar experience, pushing them through some emotions and as a result we click on them to see what the gimmick is. The more clicks they get, the more they earn. Probably what is the most curious form of advertising these days can be seen on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Facebook saves the cookies from your previous browsing sessions e.g. how to lose weight quickly and then tailors the online advertising on your personal page to what you have been looking at such as sidebar ads advertising weight loss supplements and weight loss boot camp. Advertising has always had power over the people and with the rapid growth of online advertising it is not only proving effective and profitable, but it is also bringing in more business. So, maybe these kinds of ads annoy you, don’t expect for them to go away any time soon – advertisings are forever conjuring up ideas on how to get you.