The Future Of Advertising Is Integrated

- - The Future

I found this story on TechCrunch about banner advertising quite interesting (here). Companies originally saw online advertising as a way to drive consumers to make a purchase, but they quickly discovered that traditional display ads yielded very few hits. The average banner ad generates 0.2% CTR (click through rate). You can see in this graphic from 2008 that while marketers still believed and wanted the internet to drive traffic they were starting to come around to the idea that creating awareness, familiarity, consideration and loyalty were just as important.


The story, written my Mark Suster a VC at GRP Partners goes on to point out that banner advertising is horrible at creating any of this awareness that advertisers seek online. The solution to this problem is integrated advertising. You don’t have to look further than The Strobist and Joe McNally to see integrated advertising hard at work in the photography industry. Savvy marketers have caught on to the value of endorsement and product placement for creating awareness and they’ve latched on to two early movers.

What really caught my attention in the story was the value of in-image advertising as a form of integrated media. GumGum a company I’ve written about before places advertising on top of images and delivers a 2x industry average CTR. Another company with Google backing called Pixazza places product advertising inside the image.

What does all of this mean for photographers? Something I’ve long argued: photos will eventually out-strip all other forms of communication online. Their ability to deliver information quickly in a crowded marketplace, makes them extremely valuable for marketing, advertising and storytelling.


There Are 7 Comments On This Article.

  1. That’s a very interesting story. It also made the interesting point that for fashion magazines, readers WANT to look at the ads: “The big splashy image ads is part of their reading experience.” Sometimes it seems only a small part of the photography world knows about, or wants to know about, fashion photography. But it has an enviable position of creating images that some people activity look forward to seeing, and I think the rest of advertising photography can (or perhaps must) learn a lot from that.

  2. c.d.embrey

    This is also true for entrhusiast automotive/motorcycle magazines. Some are parts catalogs with a little editorial content. And much of that content is really advertorial.

  3. Mike Moss

    He’s completely right that “photos will outstrip all other forms of communication” online. Still images drive traffic and traffic is all that matters. There are many photographers that already command traffic but don’t know how to make money with it. All of the popular talk about still/video mixing and conversion is BS. I don’t want to be lurid but the internet pornographers seem to be 10 years ahead of a lot of advertising people. The pornographers already figured out a decade ago that still images drive traffic that result in sales. Still images also drive surfers to click on videos in the first place. In other words, surfers watch videos because they are linked to stills…They click on the video links that are advertised with the best stills. Still photography drives everything.

    • @Mike Moss, How often are the “stills linked to videos” just frames out of the video?

      Even if stills have a high utility value, that doesn’t necessarily mean advertising, marketing, corporations, or media cos will use them significantly in their products. These organizations make mistakes, and follow counter productive trends too. Image creators also follow shadows that lead nowhere. If most image makers were thinking smart they would find a better business/marketplace to invest their time.

      Even if the utility value of stills is high, this doesn’t lower the glut of supply. Oversupply = low price.

      • @Bob, I agree with most of what you said – while stills will be everywhere, true high-end (i.e. well paid) work seems like it’s going bye bye, since it’s way easier for clients to lowball photography – I know one big name photog here in LA with a very distinctive style, who is lamenting that they are getting beat out on jobs by people just out of school who can mimic the style and will do it for far less. I think the most coherent – and scary – and accurate article I have ever seen in any photo mag or blog ever was Clint Clemens doomsday knell right here on APE
        I think there will still be high end work, but less of it to go around, and where there were several tiers of working photogs in biz throughout the last thirty yrs or so, now you find major leaguers competing for minor league gigs, squeezing out the minor leaguers and lowering their own value in the process.
        I also agree w. Mike Moss, the video/still “convergence” thing is BS. Whenever I look at the “motion” part on photographers sites, it’s laughably bad compared to the reels of “real” DPs.

        • @John Eder,

          This started to happen in 2007-08 when the big name photographers started to dip into the middle/mid range of the market to increase their gross income.

          In this economy it is the photographer in the middle who is getting killed.

          The bottom of the market will always be the bottom and there will always be bottom feeders.

          Some of the top photographers have now said “OK” to lower fees and smaller jobs because the bigger jobs are fewer and fewer.

          So all this adds up to the fact that to stay in business, the photographer in the middle has to go to extraordinary lengths to keep the money rolling in. At middle age, they get tired of working

          There will always be a top of the market… the Steven Klein’s of the world and the Craig McDean’s are still shooting… A LOT. And the kids just out of school are still doing jobs for cheap.

          Many of the 40 to 50 year old photographers in the middle of the market are leaving the business. These are the working people in our field who have been hurt the most by this economy and the situation in our industry.

  4. Hmmm is the quality of a pulled still as good as a production still? I think it is going to take a while for the quality of images available to get back to the proper equilibrium. There may be more in the field but not the glut that currently exists of seasoned pro and well versed amateur. The other aspect is that is an unfortunate result of the economic climate is the end users have settled for mediocre instead of quality.