Banner ads go back a long way. In fact, the very first banner ad appeared on hotwired.com (now Wired.com) on 27 October, 1994. The copy read: “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will.” And there was an arrow pointing to the right-hand side of the ad.
To say that the ad was successful is an understatement. In the first four months of its existence, 44% of those who saw it clicked on it. How CEOs would kill for that sort of click-through rate in today’s online advertising campaigns, eh? Certainly the client, AT&T, were impressed.
Let’s put that stat into perspective. Research tells us that only around 4 people out of every 10,000 click on a banner advert these days. Or, put another way, why did that first banner ad generate more clicks with 10 impressions than the average banner ad in 2015 generates with 10,000 impressions (besides that it was a new concept and piece of advertising content that no one had ever seen before)?