The State of Display Advertising

The State of Display Advertising


In the fallout of a global pandemic, do display ads look the same?

With millions of brick and mortar businesses forced to close in March and April, the hardest-hit area has been digital advertising. With ad providers reporting double-digit drops in advertising spend across all platforms, this could represent a large opportunity for brands willing to buck the trend and invest while others pull back.

In a March 2020 survey, eMarketer compared the percentage of agencies that decreased their ad spend with the percentage of agencies that benefited from not decreasing marketing budgets. The largest disparity between the two is in display advertising, with paid search faring the best out of all media platforms. 

 But, what does this tell us about the state of display advertising?

One important distinction: display advertising is likely severely underpriced right now.

As large corporations have pulled yearlong advertising contracts and many small businesses have pulled back spend, display advertising platforms are struggling to say the least. This can open up a very lucrative (and affordable) advantage for marketing savvy brands. With less competitors jockeying for space on websites, the more impressions you can garner for the same (if not less) in ad spend. 

In fact, Facebook advertisers have seen their cost to acquire a new follower drop from, on average, $0.75 to $0.25, a marked 67% decrease due to the pandemic. However, as restrictions begin to ease and the public starts to embrace the “new normal”, now is the time to get display ads up and running, before the digital advertising space becomes overly saturated again. The key will be in crafting display ads that will catch the “crisis” consumer’s attention and compel them to both click and buy.

What is working in display ads?

Here are a few strategies that have weathered the coronavirus storm and been effective in driving advertising traffic, especially for direct-to-consumer brands.

In-banner videos. You can be creative with display ads and embed short GIF style or looping videos. Not only does this help make your content more compelling to click, but it also serves as a way to catch your audience’s attention. And with this pandemic consumer, breaking through the online clutter is key right now. Plus, video ads have been found to generate 7.5x higher clickthrough rates than those with just static images. 

Geotargeted display ads. Most consumers, because of travel restrictions, are turning to local retailers and businesses to get the products and services they need. That’s why leveraging location-specific messaging in your display ads such as “Restaurants that deliver to 75089” or “markets within 15 Minutes from downtown Atlanta” can make your ads immediately more relevant. Not sure how to take advantage of this new display ad landscape? Let’s connect and I’d be happy to share some additional insights to help you get a campaign up and running within a week.


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