©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
No one knows exactly when the first advertisement was published on a printing press. We do know: In 1609, a British newspaper published an ad for migration opportunities to America. For hundreds of years, ads and print went hand and hand. Then came the Internet. AT&T was the first to pay HotWired to display the first ever online ad; a 468 x 60 banner that came to life on October 25, 1994.
Do you remember the days of explosive CPMs? Many people long for those times – before rates for traditional banner ad plummeted just as the market crashed from 2000 through 2002. These banner ads couldn’t support those rates because low click-through rates (CTR) and conversions didn’t justify the spend. To find ways to make online ads justify premium prices, publishers have had to experiment with all kinds of formats, including all intrusive full-page overlays to the content the reader is after. This still wasn’t the answer any one was hoping for.