Farhad Manjoo sostiene che i banner siano finiti, usati sempre meno. Hanno ricoperto ogni pagina web, rovinandone usabilità e presentazione, ma finalmente potremmo essere prossimi dal liberarcene. Ciò si deve in parte alle applicazioni, nelle quali la pubblicità nativa — un tweet sponsorizzato, o una foto su Instagr.am — funziona meglio, integrandosi con il contenuto.
Del resto, stando a quanto racconta Manjoo, i banner nacquero quasi per caso — ed è possibile non siano mai stati particolarmente efficaci:
The banner ad was born of necessity, in a rush, and not because anyone thought it was a particularly good idea.
“There was really no choice,” said Andrew Anker, who in the mid-1990s was the chief technology officer of Wired, charged with finding a way to pay for the print magazine’s entrance online. Mr. Anker knew that subscriptions or other direct payments for Wired’s content would not work; it was too technically difficult to accept credit card payments on the nascent web. So advertising became the only option, and the banner ad was a natural shape to fill early browsers.
Mr. Anker said that after the first ads ran, he closely watched other sites to see if they would adopt banners. Within a few months, most rivals did. Soon banners became not just a format accepted by advertisers, but something closer to a technical standard.