Ad networks sell web ads as some sort of magical creation. Target exactly who you want! Track everything they do! Put ads in from of your consumer where ever they go online! Make lots of money!
Marketers think a web ad is like a piece of direct mail. Get the consumer to click on the ad! Track all the metrics! Drive consumers directly to a web site and convert them into a sale! Make lots of money!
Publishers view the web ad as a revenue stream. They don’t really care about what the ads look like. They just need to make some money. Please give them some money!
Readers see ads as an annoyance. Something that gets in the way of their content. And so now, they block they ads! Ads are evil!
The reality is that a web ad is none of these things. A web ad is pretty much a billboard. Placed near heavy traffic, it gets lots of impressions from people passing by. But those impressions are quick and shallow. You only have time for a quick message.
Everyone wants the little web ad to be more than it is and that is why web ads suck. The best web ads accept that they are nothing more than a billboard on the side of the information superhighway. And the sooner everyone realizes that, the better the web will be.