Are display advertisers too obsessed with click-through rates?

Short answer? YES. I loved my job working at a digital agency some 10 years ago. Loved it. But as a creative, our digital work was second-tier for most clients. Drove me batty.

The other part of it that drove me crazy was that even in 2000, I knew that people would be spending a lot more time online, especially once they tasted the nectar of broadband speeds away from the office. So why wouldn’t you want to use the medium to improve your brand, rather than try measure things like where somebody clicked on a banner or what color gets more clicks?

The Geico Gecko meets The AOL Way: Are display advertisers too obsessed with click-through rates? » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism.

There’s this nugget of traditional creative approach:

But many publishers and advertising agencies have expressed frustration that their industry is beholden to such confined measurement. By focusing so much on direct response, they argue, advertisers are missing out on the larger branding opportunities afforded by creative advertising. The Geico Gecko is not successful because he inspires people to jump up from their couches and purchase car insurance; he’s successful because when a person decides months later to shop around for car insurance, his image springs to mind.