Posted August 16, 2012 3:35 pm by with 0 comments

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Ah, the lowly banner ad. It’s been sitting there in the sidebar doing its job for more than a decade and still it gets no respect.

A recent survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of MediaBrix shows that modern web surfers simply can’t get behind those ultra square boxes of static information anymore. They want something new and different.

72% of Facebook users said they prefer ads that are immersive and interactive. They want to be entertained, tickled, or rewarded for learning more about a brand. And 60% said that goes for mobile, too!

Modern consumers are saying yes to ads because they understand that it’s the best way to keep their beloved apps free of charge.

87% of Facebook app users prefer free Facebook apps versus 13% that prefer paid apps that contain no advertising.

But don’t try suckering them in with those pre-roll ads before they can play, no siree, they’ll run straight over to your competitor, screaming all the way. 83% of Facebook app users did say it was okay to offer them video during “natural” breaks in the game. I’m not sure what qualifies as natural, but if you can figure it out, you’re gold.

Only 17% said they’d prefer to make in-app purchases in order to keep a game ad free and I’m with them. I despise games that require me to purchase virtual goods or powerups in order to advance.

Moving over to the smartphone, 61% of owners said they prefer free mobile apps, so you’ve got a little leeway there. 88% of those folks were good with ads during “natural breaks” and only 12% were willing to make in-app purchases to keep the ads at bay.

The lesson here is that old school advertising isn’t going to cut it and neither are paid apps. The solution is to come up with creative ways to engage app users while they’re in play mode. We’ve seen instances where big brand put their logo inside a game, such as McDonalds in Farmville and we’ve seen games that are built entirely for the purpose of promoting a specific brand, such as AMC’s Walking Dead game on Facebook.

We have to get past the idea that ads are stand-alone units which interrupt the experience. It’s time to make the ads part of the experience and with social, mobile, and apps, it really should be easy.

Image credit: MaxiMedia