A framework for thinking about online advertising

Online advertising has been with us for 12 years now. As the medium has evolved over time, people have tried to define it as one big idea — from Web sites, communities, display ads, and email, to search, blogs, video, and social networking.

A Framework For Thinking About Online Advertising

Nick Nyhan

While online advertising has grown significantly as an industry, to many marketers it is still relatively new. Some struggle to understand it in terms of an existing media frame of reference. Should online be viewed in a print paradigm since it employs small ads, mixed in with content, on a “page”? Or should a direct response model be applied to online because of its interactivity? Most recently, the burgeoning video capabilities of online have encouraged some advertisers to liken it to television.

Trying to force fit online advertising into a pre-existing,...

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