This month the humble banner ad turned 25. Despite this impressive milestone there seems to be little acknowledgement or applause from across the Information Superhighway.  Originally these small little clickable boxes were seen as pioneering and cutting edge. However, over time their reputation became marred with some viewing them in the same way you might think of small pox or the pneumonic plague. Unconsciously, consumers have become accustomed to these ads, suffering from banner blindness which creatives have had to battle with. Consciously though many consumers have decided to remove them all together with the help of ad blocker technology.

However, as David Goddard, the vice president of Global Programmatic Strategy at BBC News reminds “We’re all here because of that ad. Digital technology employs 1.46 million people in the UK and it’s looking to grow 5% by 2020. It wouldn’t be possible without that little banner and lots more of them now funding the growth of digital companies.”

Click on the link below to see how far Digital Advertising has come over the last 25 years.


Today, banner ads are huge business. In the UK, online display spend hit £4.3bn last year, almost as much as TV (£5.1bn), according to Internet Advertising Bureau UK/PwC data.

But why is that when some consumers go out of their way to get rid of them? With the new age of display advertising, businesses have the ability to target customers on a much more granular level. Businesses can create and serve highly targeted ads that work to generate a specific dialogue tailored to various audience segments. As a result, web users are provided with content that is tailored more closely to their interests, meaning they are far more likely to engage with that ad.

Through a number of highly targeted, dynamic display campaigns, our Sema4 digital gurus, have seen first-hand, the benefit and true potential of the seemingly ‘pesky banner ad’. With client teams that advertise across 3 continents, in over 14 languages, there has never been a better way to get the right message to the right person and increase relevancy and engagement – in other words, revenue!

At its heart, the humble banner was and is a great thing with much to be proud of. So just like an annoying younger sibling perhaps its time to begrudgingly sing its praises, show some digital love celebrate this unsung hero. So Happy 25th Birthday, Digital Advertising Here’s to 25 more incredible years of digital evolution. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store!