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Five Reasons Why Too Many Online Ads Fail


If you start typing “internet ads are” into Google, here is what the autofill suggestions will give you: “are out of control”, “are getting ridiculous”, “are annoying” and “are stupid”.

Those search results point to an industry truth: That online advertising over the years hasn’t had the best reputation, even though according to Zenith, digital ad spend will overtake TV in 2017. Why is that? At its most basic level, it is because much online advertising simply isn’t very good.

This is an issue I explored in an earlier post where I questioned why creativity in online advertising isn’t yet up to the standards you see in traditional media.

But in addition to encouraging brands to be more creative online, it’s worth looking at what is wrong with a lot of online advertising right now. After all, if you want to understand the solution you first of all have to look at the problem.

I would pick out five problem areas for starters:

1. Formats are Limited.

Anyone advertising on Facebook or Google will know that the formats are fairly limited. There are only so many sizes and dimensions you can choose from, in addition to character and wording restrictions.

In contrast, one of the things we pride ourselves on is that our ad units allow advertisers to get creative. We have a dedicated in-house content team that will take a brand’s idea and optimize it for the publisher and ad unit.

Take a look at our demo page for some examples.

2. Environments are Unsuitable

‘Brand safe advertising’ is a big issue in the online marketing community.

Do you know what other ads are on the page? Does the publisher have policies or technology to filter out unsuitable ads and advertisers?

As the saying goes, people judge you by the company you keep. If you advertise (say) children’s clothes and you appear near ads for alcohol, that affects how people see you.

This is why we work with a network of trusted publishers in 25 countries, who are professional, have high editorial standards and offer a brand safe environment.

3. Targeting is Poor

A lot of times consumers think “why am I seeing THAT!” It doesn’t matter how good the creative is, if the audience is wrong, it falls flat.

This is why we work with a number of vertical industry sector publishers, all of who have robust data on who comes to their websites.

One recent example is the partnership we signed with Gourmet Ads, a network of food, cooking and recipe websites where people make meal decisions before heading to the supermarket. This makes it an ideal environment for grocery brands to engage with consumers.

Yes, you can target consumers through Facebook and Google. But working with specialist or vertical sector publishers is a good alternative, especially as they get around the first two problems I mentioned above.

4. User Experience is Suboptimal

Some online ads can be too disruptive.

As the Coalition for Better Ads says in its research: “ads that disrupt the browsing experience or delay access to content can frustrate consumers.”

If the ad is deemed to be too annoying, the consumer will focus on making it go away and not reading what it says, something that doesn’t help the advertiser.

As a result, we support the efforts of groups such as the Coalition for Better Ads in raising ad standards. After all, ads that consumers want to see are going to be ones that have higher rates of engagement.

5. Ads are not Viewable

Viewability rates can be very poor. Ads are not so much ignored as not seen in the first place.

Facebook viewability rates are now said to be 20% or less due to consumers rapidly scrolling down a page on their mobile devices, and so missing the video campaign completely.

Some of the ad units we offer are specifically designed to get around that problem, which is why our mobile video ads achieve average viewability of up to 68%.

Those are five areas to begin with. There are more, and I’d love to hear your suggestions as to what those could be.

JustPremium has built its business around addressing each of these problem areas in online advertising today. We’ve proven that when advertisers are more creative, targeted and engaging with their online advertising, they produce better results. And that’s really what’s important – moving the needle on metrics that matter.


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