The Interactive Web: Toward a New Discipline

Hairong Li

Michigan State University


The World Wide Web (Web) emerged as an advertising medium in the early 1990s. It since has been used not only as an advertising vehicle itself but as a platform for new forms of interactive advertising, such as display ads, sponsorship, search ads and, more recently, blogs and microblogs, social ads, user-generated content, and widgets and apps. The Web—as well as digitally focused advertising concepts—is transforming the advertising business and education in the United States and around the world.

The Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) was one of the first advertising journals to publish research articles on the Web and interactive advertising. In the first 10 years of Internet advertising, between 1994 and 2003, the JAR published 55 articles on the subject, the most among advertising journals (Cho and Khang, 2006). The Journal of Advertising Research has since published more than 50 articles on the same subject. These papers have covered a wide range of issues on the Web and interactive advertising and, alone with many articles in other advertising journals, they have advanced the marketing industry’s knowledge about interactive advertising.