Rich media has been steadily gaining momentum since its inception, not long after the first banner ad appeared. Recent studies show that in terms of performance, rich media dominates static banners (CTRs (define
) have been said to average 1.17 percent, six times that of non-rich media ads). JupiterResearch reports that by 2009, rich media ad units will account for over half of all spending on online display ads.
This usage boost is partially due to the technology becoming increasingly easy to employ. Specialized rich media companies, such as EyeWonder, are expanding their product offerings, allowing advertisers and publishers to consolidate their rich media buys. Others, such as Eyeblaster and aQuantive, offer ad management solutions designed specifically with rich media ads in mind. "Rich media is poised to become the new mass media," said EyeWonder's EVP of business development, Michael Griffin.
With rich media's superior performance and increased usability, one can't help but agree. Rich media is doggedly enticing advertisers, making it easy for them to overlook other formats. But given the static banner's impressive history we must ask: is there still a place for the traditional static banner online?