The Banner Is Back, As If It Never Left

Over at Mashable, Todd Wasserman highlights something I’ve believed for quite some time: While few people click through a banner ad, that doesn’t mean it has no value.

For instance, click-through is actually a poor measure of performance. It’s impossible to click through a billboard ad, for example, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. If you drive the same way to work every day for a month and see that same billboard for the new Adam Sandler movie, I’d bet you a Happy Gilmore DVD that you remember the name of the movie, know a bit about the premise and have already decided whether you want to see it or not. Yet, if that same ad appeared online, chances are you’d be among the 999 out of 1,000 who didn’t click through to learn more.

Yeah, they’re pretty much background noise on websites. But I’m seeing more and more banners and display ads for brands whose sites I’ve clicked on. The ads are following me to other sites, and while it’s very creepy, it also keeps those brands top-of-mind for me.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. The billboard analogy is spot-on. I never click on banner ads, but I could probably describe a handful that I constantly see. In the same way, I’m just glad the billboards I see along the highway to work don’t show up in my front yard.

  2. Very very good point.