The reason why digital advertising is seen as less effective than television is because IT IS less effective in the current form.
Theory: the more people can mould the content of the medium the lower the effectiveness of static interruptions.
Here are some examples - when the tv remote didn’t exist - tv ads had a bigger audience and effectiveness. Now, TV ads have become short stories which engage and entertain users. The ads had to adapt to the remote.
Online, the users have the power to change the content - with voting, with comments, with sharing on social media - and that is what we as publishers aspire towards. But this reduces the effectiveness of advertising or the brand building ability of the medium.
Imagine that you are on the potters wheel and have just sat down to create a pot… and notice a stone in the clay. Your immediate reaction is to pinch that stone out of the clay and throw it away. Now imagine the stone is shiny - you look at it - realize its unusual and stare and engage with it.
That is what online advertising copy does - good copy creates engaged users. This is what the digital advertising is still running on and I believe its a very half baked attempt at exploiting the true potential of this medium.
Now imagine yourself at a museum and you see a clay pot made by ancient indians - you marvel at the colours, the shape and the placement of the… stones!!! This is why curated static content is more effective online.
This is human nature - the more you are allowed to fiddle with the creation the less effective the details become unless they change with the creation itself.
Online display banners today are like stones which you would rather not have - what they need to become is part of the content which engages and entertains users. They need to adapt to the online medium and not follow the print magazine style of yesterday.