This year the display advertisement celebrated its 20th birthday – which is quite remarkable when you think about it!


Back in 1994, AT&T became the first company ever to launch a banner- ad which appeared on – now known as WIRED – and the advertising industry changed forever.


In this modern age of digital marketing, where advertisers are afforded multiple channels through which to reach their target audience, it feels very odd to imagine a time before advertisements were popping up on your computer screen or mobile device. The advent of new technologies has brought about an exciting new era of marketing possibilities and brands are becoming more and more creative with it.


The ways in which marketers are able to interact and engage with a target audience continues to evolve in line with the new technologies that make it all possible, and this is applicable both online and in a bricks and mortar in-store environment. Whether via real-time push notifications sending offers and incentives through tools such as iBeacons, or click and collect services made available through an app on your mobile device, the purpose of advertising and marketing tools nowadays is centred on making the whole experience more convenient and essentially better for the end user. AT&T’s banner-ad may look very simple now, but that humble beginning paved the way for the display advertising industry as we now know it.


Thanks to the data which can now be acquired through display advertising and marketing tools, whether it is through measuring click rates, frequent searches and dwell times, brands and businesses are now able to gain a better understanding of their client base and can begin to communicate with them on a more personalised and contextual level. These data analytics also encourage marketers to be regularly accessing and re-evaluating their marketing strategies, ensuring that the content is always fresh and relevant.


The world of creative advertising has come a long way in 20 years and it isn’t just about selling a product or raising the awareness of a brand. Display advertising is now an invaluable tool for enhancing engagement and as new technologies continue to emerge, marketers are only going to get more creative with their strategies. Here’s to all the exciting developments another 20 years will bring!


Lucy Mulvin

About Lucy Mulvin

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