Why Display Is For “Branding," Not Acquisition

Have you ever funded a display advertising campaign in hopes of high click through and conversions but once the report comes back you see an abysmal performance?

It’s quite disheartening because you know you’ve spent so much money for such little ROI.

but did you fail?

Not necessarily.

If you were to shift your mindset then you would see that display advertising does have a place – not just in conversions – but for branding.

Things Have Changed

We’ve all been around the Web long enough to have seen the evolution of online advertising.

It used to be very pushy and now it’s far more subtle. It also used to look incredibly ugly (low DPI on animated gifs) but with new scripts, languages, and design best practices there are some ads that are downright beautiful.

As a user we get disgruntled when an ad takes up too much space but you know what? They’re in place because they’re effective.


I believe this is because we are accustomed to seeing commercials on our television and online video. It’s large enough to draw us in and feel an emotion.

Branding over Acquisition

“Brand advertising will see a big increase in spending, with 63% planning to up investments vs. 51% who will put more dollars to direct response” made mention in an article on eMarketer.

It makes sense when you think about the bigger picture:

People flock to social media to discuss topics, find entertainment, leave reviews, and engage with brands. It’s becoming a preferred channel for communication between business and consumer.

Web users are smart when it comes to understanding online advertising and that has led to the development of ad blindness.

This author believes that the combination of social media and ad blindness to traditional ad formats is one of the main reasons why so many marketers fail to see a significant response.

And the reason … people don’t want to be sold.

The traditional understanding of a banner (or any other form of online advertisement) is to get you to click and purchase a product on the next page. This interrupts the actions of the user.

The smart way to do advertising, today, is to leverage display to share your brand and invite viewers to reach your business via social media.

As someone that is online throughout the majority of his day I am welcoming to learning about new products, services, and brands via display as long as they do not interrupt my intent. If I find their display interesting I will do MY research into learning more which often includes checking their website, Facebook, Twitter, or other social profiles.

All-in-all, utilize display to pique interest. Make it interactive, edgy, and unforgettable – just like a great commercial. Let them discover your brand on their terms and be ready to pounce once they get in contact. This is the why you need to see display as branding; not just for acquisitions.

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