The Green Shoots of a Digital Publishing Revival Call for Creative New Formats

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Listen carefully and you might just detect a note of quiet optimism in digital media circles, as publishers reflect on selected healthy signals from 2020 and look forward to a resurgent economy, driven by pent-up savings from the long, dull months of Covid.

According to data from the Association of Online Publishers and Deloitte, 53% of digital publishers witnessed positive revenue growth in Q3 2020 – up from 22% the previous quarter. What’s more, 78% of digital publishers view advertising revenue growth as a high strategic priority across the next year.

Renewed ambitions call for new solutions, which in turn makes a case for more arresting, more creative display advertising, driven by better, more original media planning. With eyeballs disappearing from classic branding and awareness channels such as print, cinema and outdoor, brands need to shift from a short-term to a long-term view in their digital media planning, and restore brand building to the mix.

How should they aim to improve? The internet is crowded and the typical ad is ignorable – only 20% of viewable ads are even noticed, according to Lumen research. This is partly because, for too long, display has largely been the preserve of performance: a few words and a call to action. But digital advertising can do a lot more – tell richer stories; surprise and amaze; stand out; build brands.

One part of the journey to that place involves reflecting on a bit of old-school media planning wisdom that has been prematurely discarded. The principle in the traditional media days was that two-thirds of marketing budgets were supposed to go into branding. In digital, today’s reality is anecdotally closer to one tenth.

So, how to bring branding into the world of digital? With a return to first-rate creative, showcased in high-impact digital formats.

Adnami’s role in this is to enable publishers to sell space on their websites that is far superior to standard display ad varieties. Our templated high-impact formats include Fluid Skins, vertical video scrollers and Top- or Mid-Scrollers. These are typically bigger than ordinary ads, though size alone is not the difference, but their ability to dynamically render and align neatly with a site’s content and screen sizes, rather than being restricted to a fixed width and height.

Interactive, impactful and engaging by design, these ads are the perfect canvas for a revolution in digital creative, fuelled by rich media and opening up a world of new possibilities. You might combine multiple ad formats into one, or turn the whole wallpaper of a website into a single, eye-popping execution.

High-impact ads of this kind deliver on key ad-performance metrics and leave long-lasting, memorable impressions for users, as well as accelerated returns for advertisers, who can trade high-impact ads directly from publishers in a simple, scalable and programmatic way.

For publishers chasing improved ad revenues, the ability to provide a deluxe advertising experience comes at the perfect time. Given the enormous consolidation of media power among agencies and large networks, it seems only right to provide publishers directly with impactful formats, freeing them of the need to buy programmatic display from huge platforms that don’t support effective transactions for high-impact creative.

Creative – in both the artistic and the planning sense – will be the driver for our explosion in high-impact advertising. Finally, the internet has high-quality branding tools to match its performance capabilities.

Publishers’ creative content is what makes the web go round. Now they have an equally creative range of ad formats to go with it.

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