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01/28/2009 IAB Says Online Creative Stinks

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is about to jump in to save the sorry state of online advertising. According to the IAB, the “creative shabbiness" we see online stems from entrenched perceptions inside big advertising agencies that online is not a creative medium. Dependence on old media "reach and frequency" media planning principles within those agencies ends up dragging the whole product down.

The IAB is right. I’ve written previous posts how online advertising has amazing potential for engagement and even direct sales.

But who, exactly, doesn’t believe online is a creative medium? It’s probably the most creative medium around today. And when even the venerable old Hatch Awards in Boston gives its best of show award to a Web site, a site of a TV focused ad agency, you’d think no one would believe the idea that online isn’t a creative medium.

Want to see some recent creativity? Check out this ad from Swedish Åkestam and Holst for playground or this one from Brazilian Famiglia for Rossi. You can find great examples at Banner Blog.

What the IAB meant was that there are still a lot of traditional creatives that still don’t understand digital. And the longer they keep making the ads, the longer we’ll see shabby online creative. For the people running these types of agencies, the responsibility falls on you for allowing this behavior. For Clients using these agencies, switch as fast as you can. These people are stealing your money.

As for blaming the media departments, media departments need to get up to speed on the different types of online advertising they can do. It means shifting some of the media spend into solutions like EyeBlaster or Adroit. Digital creatives can help here a lot.

If you’re currently producing crappy rotating billboards for online ads, stop. Talk to your team and come up with other solutions. You’ll still drive ROI and engagement and have a little more pride in what you produce.


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