• Jim Farina

    I agree that standards were needed in the early days of the “web” as it was very inefficient to create digital advertising from both a creative and programming execution, pov. I experienced this many times when we needed to adjust the ad to fit a size or file spec that was not the norm and had to adjust the creative to be able convey the desired message within the unique ad size’s specs. Usually, we were not happy with the end product and just wrote it off as waste. Once the standards were implemented, it made the entire industry more efficient and generally more effective as it leveled the playing field. However, now that we’re in the Web 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever buzz term is used to describe it, I believe that the standards have actually restricted and maybe even denigrated the advertising because the ads and their placement have become blind to the viewer – regardless of the creative, programming technology or even publisher. A perfect example of this is that I did not even notice the ads on this page as my eyes have been trained to ignore them. Maybe it’s the web’s fault then? Why do the pages all have to be in tabular format? Why does everything have to be geometrically square or rectangular? I don’t know, but I do know that our eyes, aren’t. Something has to change or else we’ll just continue to throw monies at a platform that really in the end has been handcuffed and now even harmed by the standards that were supposed to help it. And no, changing the device that the platform is viewed on is not going to solve the problem. Maybe, it’s the brand manager’s who’ll help fix digital advertising as they hold the purse strings and want better results without having to spend on more reach. Maybe it’ll be the creative and programming leads who finally grow tired of putting in so much work to fit the standards. Maybe it’ll be a strategist, producer, media buyer or someone else that comes up with a better solution. Who knows, but I sure do hope that they do it soon so we can fix this problem that will eventually, in my opinion, continue to degrade itself until it no longer exists (or gets to a point of zero return). In closing, yes, thanks for the standards as they helped in the beginning but now they have and are hurting the industry. Just like Mr. Minnium, I too collected matchbook covers when I was little and I got excited when I found one that was new, had a different brand/ message or even from a different country. It’s been a long time and the collection has passed along with my youth but do you want to know the only matchbook that I remember? The triangular one. That was cool.