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Banner ads – 25 years



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25 years ago, the first banner advertisement went online. With her began unprecedented commercialization that has changed the web sustainably.”Did you ever click with your mouse exactly HERE?”, Asked the first banner advertising and delivered the same with: “You will!” From today’s perspective, that sounds almost prophetic. Not only because the ad reached an almost gigantic click-through rate (CTR) of 44 percent at that time, but also because it started the almost limitless commercialization of the Web and countless clicks on ads followed.

The banner advertisement was commissioned by the US telecommunications company AT and T. It was first played on October 27, 1994, on the website Hotwired, the former online offshoot of the technology magazine Wired. The online publication coined the term banner ad and for the first time offered advertisers the ability to run graphic ads on the web and to provide advertisers with information on how often their ad was clicked.

So that’s what it was, the first banner ad in the world. The advertisement had been on the web before, but it was not until the invention of banner ads that ads became a mainstream phenomenon. At first, banner ads were sold like classic print ads: for a fixed amount, advertisers were able to seize part of the page. For example, AT & T paid $ 30,000 for showing their ad on the Hotwired site for three months. But until the introduction of today’s usual targeting, it should not take long. Back in 1995, Yahoo began offering keyword-based advertising on its search portal. In the same year, Netscape and Infoseek introduced the thousand-contact price. The last missing piece of the puzzle came in 1996: DoubleClick launched and offered advertisers the opportunity to track online users’ movements across different websites and to tailor advertising. Even then, privacy advocates were bothered by how third-party cookies created detailed user profiles. However, this had no impact on the growth of the industry. By the mid-1990s, companies were already spending $ 300 million on online advertising. It was already threefold in 2000. Today, 25 years after the first banner ad, global spend on online advertising is more than $ 330 billion annually. And even if growth slows down, development is far from over.

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