Online Ads are Awful

(4 minute read)

Every year since 1995, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers releases her somewhat legendary report on trends for the Internet. Her global and US-focused presentation provides insights into the past year and where the trends are expected to go in the year ahead. Buried within the 213 page deck was the state of online advertising and why most advertising is just plain awful.

Internet advertising is growing rapidly, but quite ineffectively. You don’t have to be a Millennial to know that the ads on your phone don't work and that no one watches them.

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But it’s not all bad news. Millennials are 112 percent more likely to share online ads they like than any other demographic and 23 percent more likely to enjoy ads they find relevant.

The solution is actually very simple. We need to make better ads and target them for mobile.

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Mobile users have become addicted to their smartphones, which is why the opportunity for mobile advertising is so great. Americans collectively check their smartphones close to eight billion times a day. We touch it and swirl it in our fingers and press the buttons, often for no reason. We are never alone in public anymore. We sleep with it by our side. 

We are addicts, and it’s not just the Millennials — it’s all of us.

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All together, there are enormous opportunities for online marketers. In an age of ad blockers and poorly executed ads, the time has come to get creative with advertising. We agree with Mary Meeker that successful brands are finding ways into camera-based storytelling, creativity, messaging and sharing.