First there were banners, traditional display advertising for a new media. The ads started to move, to play sound, and to borrow more and more from broadcast advertising.
Then there were the text link ads, sponsored links, affiliate links and ads tailored for the audience, and contextual ads, both within and beside the content. Some of it were for actual clicks, other ads were just about fooling the search engines with bought inbound links.
Move along to sponsored posts and paid reviews, with a dash of the same in a bite-sized format on social media. Sponsored tweets and bought likes, deceitful and borderline illegal.
We’ve come far from the once mammoth 468×60 pixel banner.
The trend is to work more with content (it is searchable and long taily after all) and less with traditional display ads. It is easier to deceive this way, but sponsored posts might in fact open up for better marketing. For storytelling.
That’s what’s next, that’s where this trail will lead for online advertising.