The Issue with Digital Media

This Sunday the Superbowl took place in America and for marketers it‘s a massive excuse to spend copious amounts of money on half-time T.V. ads. Placing an ad costs $4 million, a lot of money regardless of how much it costs to create the ads. Lets ignore the production costs for a moment and focus on that $4 million figure. Digiday pointed out some interesting stats about what you can do with that kind of money:

Over 100 million video impressions on Hulu
According to media buyers, Hulu currently sells its video ad inventory at around a $30 CPM. Therefore: $4 million / $30 CPM = 130 million impressions
Twitter‘s Promoted Trending Topic every day for a month
Promoted trending topics on the social network currently sell for up to $120,000 a day. Based on that figure, $4 million would afford you the paid placement every day for at least a month. $4 million / $120,000 = 33 days
50 million first-page interstitials
Media buyers say Forbes charges around an $80 CPM for its welcome interstitial ads. At that price you could buy around 50 million impressions, but even if every impression hit a unique user, that‘d still only be half the potential audience for a Super Bowl ad. $4 million / $80 CPM = 50 million impressions

That‘s a lot of advertising bang for your buck. Locally if you wanted to put that figure into perspective $4 million equates to R36 million, which at a CPM rate of R250, equates to around 145 million impressions. According to the DMMA you could essentially buy every single publishers impressions for about two weeks with this kind of money. Considering this is a high-ish CPM for such volume you‘d be looking at even more impressions and reach possible.
If marketers can get such “œbang for their buck“ why aren‘t they pumping even more money into digital ad placement? Yes I know digital grows 20% year-on-year but the truth is that it‘s going to take a while for the revenues to be meaningful and massive T.V. productions such as the Superbowl will still need impressive adverts.
The reason marketers will still spend $4 million simply placing an advert is because of the flash and the story. The one thing a banner, rich media or interstitial ad will never do is make you enjoy a story. Viewers watch the Superbowl adverts then go home and Youtube the videos again and again. No one in the history of the world has said “œwow I want to watch that banner ad again!“ Have you ever heard of model Kate Upton (who appears in an ad this year for Mercedes) in a digital ad campaign? I think not.
What‘s the solution? It‘s time to add a narrative to online advertising. Hire a writer, a storyteller or someone who can help create a reason for a user to go from a banner to a site that has a story that really engages the user.