According to industry estimates Internet advertising stood at Rs 650 crore in 2008-09, of which Search was about Rs 350 crore. Display or banner ads remained at about Rs 300 crore, which shows that despite the current economic slowdown, online banner ads has not shrunk and would continue to grow, although Search would still remain an important part of digital media.
Among the leading sectoral advertisers in the online banner space are the auto industry, FMCGs, consumer durables and educational institutions. Internet banner ads, which have been in existence since 1995, are one of the oldest forms of Internet advertising.
Interactive Avenues, for instance, spends 45 per cent of its spends on Search and 55 per cent on display, as they would like to be known as a full service agency, thus having equal focus on search and display.
Amardeep Singh, Co-Founder and Vice President - Business Development, Interactive Avenues, explained, “The total Internet advertising market in FY08 was anywhere between Rs 500 crore and Rs 550 crore, which as per our estimate grew to about Rs 625- 650 crore in 2009. Of this, Search was about Rs 200 crore in 2007-08 and display (banner) was around Rs 300 crore. In 2008-09, Search grew to Rs 350 crore and display or banner ads remained at about Rs 300 crore. More brand-related advertisers are looking at the Internet more seriously, and for brand-related advertisers it is display which plays the major role, so banner ads, according to us, will continue to grow, although Search will continue to remain an important part of the current digital media mix.”
Singh further said, “Bandwidth remains an issue. Secondly, portals need to graduate to a larger site at limit, so banner ads need to give more bangs for the buck to the advertiser by increasing their sites. As advertisers become bigger, the impact will increase, and as advertisers will get more bangs for the buck, they will start spending more.”
Atul Hegde, CEO, Ignitee Digital Solutions Pvt Ltd, observed, “Internet advertising is seeing a healthy growth, in fact, I believe the growth will be as much as what it was last year. Given the current scenario, the healthier growth you would see would be in the Internet category from among all other mediums of advertising. There will always be new forms of advertising and people would start innovating within the banner format, so online banner advertising will always be there and continue to play a significant role in online advertisements.”
He further said, “Online banner advertising is as valued in India as it is in the international market. In fact, as more and more clients/ brands get on to it and there is more connectivity, you will see a lot more innovations happening in banner advertising. The slowdown has actually helped in growth of online banner ads, and I believe the biggest thing it has done is getting newer brands into this medium, especially those brands that were always doubtful about this medium.”
One trend to watch out for as access speed improves is video advertising. The integration of video content into banners will be seen as the driving force behind the growth of this category. The concern, however, is unless broadband penetration is increased, the growth of display advertising would be limited.
The digital industry believes that banner advertising will always play a crucial role in the growth of the Internet as a medium. To keep up with newer forms of advertising, it will only innovate itself further, and like any other medium, online banner advertising is extremely effective if done correctly – in terms of creativity, curiosity and interactivity with the brands. According to industry estimates, banner advertising contributes more than 50 per cent of the online market in terms of spends.