Engagement Once Gave Life to the Internet. Now, It's Killing It

It's time for publishers to learn its true value

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I’m old enough to remember the “Punch the Monkey” banners that were around in the late ‘90s. For those who don’t, these were horizontal display ads featuring an animated monkey going back and forth, encouraging you to try and catch it with your mouse, clicking on the banner. These banners weren’t really advertising anything, just getting you to engage with them. Once you did, you’d arrive at a page with some special offer as a prize, usually 20 percent off something you would never need or want. It was a small, low brow con. Nothing a digital marketer would be proud to put on their resume.