Displaying the Future & the Future of Display

The web and its offline media cousins have been awash recently with reports and trends that outline where online display is, and more importantly, where it might be heading. At Magnetise, we like to live and work a year or two ahead of the pack, so these stories are already generating some interesting conversations and concepts.

New Media Age recently broke the story about ComScore's latest report, which detailed that display advertising was experiencing a resurgence as UK ad networks have grown both their reach and their unique users over the last year (from July 2009). Optimism has been admittedly light in recent years as everyone has struggled to survive the recession unscathed, and so stories such as this are both heartening and enlightening.

Digging into the detail, it appears that the rise in big brand integrated campaigns, along with all the new opportunities brought about by integrating data, technology, innovation and channels into a single, holistic marketing journey, are having strident impact.

In other news, a recent APA poll covered by the excellent UtalkMarketing disclosed that 49% of marketers believe that the industry is heading into a 'post advertising era' where branded content will rise through the ranks to become increasingly prevalent.

While the statistical results themselves were balanced in the sense that roughly 25% of respondents were sat on either side of the yes/no fence, one only need to glance at brand activity in social and rich media channels to understand the contemporary relevance of content to marketing.

To us, content is increasingly a vital part of our work. We capture consumers and help to convert them to customers by providing then with engaging experiences, information and offers, which would feel incredibly flat without the wealth of branded content we can access.

AOL are clearly bulk-buying energy drinks at the moment, considering the seemingly unending announcements coming from this internet stalwart. One that hits the point home about the opportunities of blending advertising, marketing, product and content together is Project Devil, which has just been presented at Advertising Week in New York. Apparently, Project Devil is AOL's gambit to re-invent the web for advertisers, but we think it's actually about re-inventing the web page itself.

In essence, it provides a way to integrate and simplify advertising with content, rather than making it look, feel and react like something that has been tacked on around the edges or slung over the top as an after-thought. While this looks on first glance to be a simple, effective fix to a growing problem, it's not completely new thinking, and moreover would probably cause problems with the online advertising standards that we have all worked so hard to create and comply with.

The fact that there is a never-ending stream of ideas is testament to the as-yet unrealised potential of the medium, and the passion of the people working within it. Any development that gives users, advertisers and publishers a simpler, more engaging and integrated digital experience deserves consideration in this increasingly jumbled online world and we really hope that you, like us, take a moment every once in a while to contemplate what's coming up around the corner, and what part you can play in driving the industry forwards.


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