Many would agree that there is something magical, although outdated and nostalgic, about magazine ads. Something about the medium makes them special: the glossy pages, the graphic experience, the feeling that they contribute to making a magazine what a magazine is supposed to be. An issue of Vogue, heavy with ads, is not something we dread diving into — the ads hold glamor, stimulating visuals, and even perfumes. Similarly, the cinematic ads in movie theaters have become part of the experience of going to the movies, they build anticipation and a sense of wonder.
On the other hand, ads on digital platforms seem to get in the way of things. Pop ups, paywalls, videos that take too long to load. There’s no surprise that there’s rampant use of ad-blocking software among internet users, and that those surveyed in this study vastly prefer other categories before digital for receiving ads.
But what can we learn from more traditional mediums in order to improve the perception of digital ads?
We have to make digital ads experiences themselves, we have to allow them to support and back-up the content that the audience is there to see. We have to eliminate the element of distraction, and allow digital advertising to work in tandem with the platform it is designed for. Personalization has, for a while, convinced us that we are delivering our ads to the right people — but what if this mattered less than delivering ads in a way that works with the platform and content they are served along with?
This might make ads less personal (and also less invasive) but help make them a critical part of the media experiences people enjoy today.