Yahoo urges creativity in online ads

Internet advertisers need to raise their game if they are to achieve the creative potential available through the global digital platform.

Such is the message from Mark Chippendale, vice president at Yahoo for media sales, who says creative types need inspiration from large media companies if their creations are to truly exploit the capabilities of the online medium.

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Chippendale said online adverts far outpace any other medium in their ability to communicate to what he dubbed, “a very engaged audience.”

“If you are online, you can be a TV advert, a radio advert or a press advert. You can be all of that on steroids," he said.

However part of the problem is the nascent state of the broadband market, compounded by the inability of big companies to reveal to creative designers what can really be achieved.

Moreover, he believes advertising online needs to become as memorable as the Smash Martians, which rose to fame in the mid-1970s after promoting instant mash potato on the wide screen.

"We are partly to blame as we need to get out there and inspire the creatives to want to work with the online medium. We haven't communicated the opportunities that exist to creatives. We haven't excited them enough," said Chippendale, a former BSkyB executive.

Reflecting on his own company, Yahoo, he said there was now a realisation that the best attributes of other media should be exploited and amplified via broadband technology.

But broadband itself had made advertising decision-makers lazy, Chippendale hinted, because companies are simply migrating old adverts onto a ready-to-go platform, enabled by the ‘always on’ infrastructure.

"Too many people think that 'great - broadband exists I will just put my TV advert on it'.

"I think they should be cleverer about how they translate their TV adverts to online because Web pages have different dwell times," he said.

The rapid uptake of broadband and its increasing sophistication ensures Web advertising revenues should continue to soar, allowing greater opportunity for the untapped creativity of online advertisers to shine.

Yahoo’s recent profit declarations have proven advertising is leading the charge for the company, rising from two-thirds of its total revenue in 2002, to almost 80 per cent at the beginning of 2005, according to Business Week.

Terry Semel, chief executive, reportedly said he intended to cut the company’s dependency on advertisers after his ascendancy to the helm in 2002, but profits continue to ride high thanks to a core portfolio of 100 blue chip advertisers.


9th November 2005

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