11 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Online Advertising

Because billboards are so two-thousand and late.

1. This was the first banner ad on the internet.

It was for AT&T, it ran back in the Ancient Days of October 1994, and, in retrospect, it’s pretty darn pleased with itself. The ad was intended to tie into AT&T’s then-current “You Will” campaign, which stressed high-tech things that subscribers would be able to do on AT&T networks, and makes the whole thing feel a little less like a piece of internet real estate is challenging you to a game of Truth or Dare.

2. Over 5.3 trillion banner ads were served to U.S. users in 2012.

dno1967b / Via Flickr: dno1967b

That’s a full trillion more banner ads than back in 2009, which can mean only one thing: THIS IS WHAT THE MAYANS WERE WARNING US ABOUT.

3. Ninety-nine percent of Web users do not click on ads.

denniswong / Via Flickr: denniswong

Alas So many free iPods and for-real-you-guys cash rewards gone unclaimed!

4. And 8% of the people who do account for 85% of ad clicks.

That’s down from 32% of users in 2007, and 16% of users in 2009. Come 2014 and we’ll be able to trace them all back to the same small-town public library that your internet-impaired parents go to.

5. Not to mention that up to 50% of mobile ad clicks are accidental.

The IT Crowd / Channel 4 / Via gifsoup.com

To be fair, we Americans have notoriously pudgy fingertips.

6. Early internet users started calling junk ads and email “spam” after a Monty Python sketch.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus / BBC / Via variablejabberwocky.tumblr.com

Even littler known fact: The internet was originally intended to be called “The Ministry of Silly Things to Click On,” but that never really caught on.

7. The U.S. is the largest online advertising market in the world.

Say what you will about the ol’ Red, White, and Blue, but we sure love those “PUNCH MIKE TYSON AND WIN AN IPHONE” banner ads. Kind of.

8. Pizza Hut was one of the earliest adopters of their own online store.

Way back in 1994, the same year as the aforementioned first banner ad. Perhaps even more interesting: The first online purchase was — you guessed it — a piping hot Pizza Hut pizza.

9. When an online ad follows you from site to site, it’s called “remarketing.”

Terminator 2: Judgment Day / TriStar Pictures / Via ghostofcheney.tumblr.com

But when a computerized entity follows you from place to place in the real world, they’re called a “Terminator.”

10. Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature costs the company $110 million in ad revenue every year.

The secondary search feature bypasses all advertising with a click, meaning roughly 1% of the site’s users completely miss out on its ads.

11. Internet ad spending alone surpassed 39.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.

That’s over $30 billion more than the $8.1 billion spent in 2001. As of 2013, that number’s expected to hit a staggering $42 billion. That’s serious Scrooge McDuck Tier dough, you guys.

Do you know what your marketing is doing?

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