Welcome to a New Age of Ads: Don’t Get Left Behind

54927135Ok, time to preach.

Raise your hand if you feel overwhelmed sometimes with all of the new features thrown at you day in and day out. Raise your hand if that turns into apathy and sticking to what you know best (yesterday’s tool set). Now for some real toe-crunching-soul-searching… Raise your hand if you still ignore display and social ads in favor of good olé fashioned search ads? For shame!

Now, for those of you who are on the bold-bus and are out there trying new features and channels, give yourself a pat on the back! Raise your hand if despite that bold nature you are still tripped up and delay when presented with complex, design intensive and bleeding edge ad formats?

Me, my team and some of our clients get caught in this trap occasionally. It happens. Design resources are often strapped for bandwidth and can carry a hefty price tag. I get it. I empathize. But let’s resolve together to get the @%$# over ourselves and blaze a trail into this new age of ads so we don’t get left behind.


I won’t put a huge list here, but merely mention some movers and shakers.

  • AdWords display is awash with html5 banners. Lightbox ads. Video ads. And it is awesome.
  • Bing Ads image extensions and native ads. Get on it, man.
  • Yahoo Gemini images and video for native. They have email custom audience targeting now. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.
  • Facebook and Instagram. Jeez, where do I even start? Images. Video. Carousel. Slideshow (use video function, but upload images instead). Canvas. Lead Ads + Context Cards. 360 degree video. So much awesome.
  • Twitter isn’t innovating quite like they used to, but oh the images, video, website cards and lead gen cards!
  • Reddit ads. There’s something special happening over at Reddit. Don’t make the mistake of assuming Reddit only consists of weirdo millennials who aren’t your target audience. The communities there are pretty incredible. PPC has one! I just did a b2b audience research project and Reddit communities were a goldmine.
  • Tumblr… but maybe only if you are targeting weirdo millennials.
  • Snapchat is growing in popularity. And the demographics are expanding fast. The functionality of Snapchat is unique and therefore the ad options are appropriately unique.


That list above is screaming multimedia. Images galore. Video. Animations, either gif or html5. More video. Long videos. Short videos. And then we’re back to images.

Is your internal design team or design vendor up to the challenge? Heck, are they even in the know? You better make sure they are! Train, educate and collaborate. The success of your advertising depends on it. Now – not tomorrow.

Rethink Messaging

Search ads are straight to the point. Most standard (static) display ads are equally blunt. The new age of ads mandate you practice the fine art of story telling. How do your images and copy flow and compliment each other?


A site like Reddit has more snarky, smart assed users per capita than any other. Post a bland ad without purpose and you will get burned. Same goes for social as a whole. Comments happen – and they aren’t always nice.

More to Come

So, Pokemon Go happened. If you didn’t witness this phenomenon, you must’ve been hiding in some dark hobbit hole the past several days! What am I getting at? The way people interact with the world through their apps is changing AS WE SPEAK. (image source: Techcrunch)

Pokemon Go uses augmented reality. The potential for clever and useful local advertising is huge. But consider the huge investments in virtual reality by the likes of Google and Facebook. We are already experiencing the gateway drug to VR on Facebook via 360 degree video format. It’s awesome, but is it practical to create? Not just yet.

The new age of digital advertising isn’t something we are waiting to happen to us. It is NOW and your competitors are learning how to capitalize on all of these amazing channels and ad formats. Are you?