Friday, June 27, 2008

Banner 2.0

I have always been a fan of the banner. I celebrated their arrival - posters can move! - and I still have the 8k non-rotating gifs I did for HP Vectra PCs. They come in useful when flash designers bemoan the measly 50K file size limit and how it is stifling their creativity.

I have also always defended them in their dark days. The reason that people no longer look at them has more to do with histrically lazy media planning and slopping creative execution than the poor 468x60 itself.

In the past few years the online ad market has been through several major technological shifts to fight back, with the introduction of behavioral, contextual and demographic targeting for to try and make them more relevant.

The next wave is driven by people like Peer39 is one whose SemanticMatch takes a holistic look at a web page, determining the overall subject and tone with technology closer than ever to human unerstanding, therfore making banners more relevant.

But I think it is deeper than that - people just don't look.

Following an interesting corridor chat with Rory Sutherland we decided that we need to retrain people to look at banners. How about a global replace banners with art day. Or Yahoo just put the local weather in banners for a week.
I think that widgetise banners could be the answer. Annoyingly I couldn't post to Blogger for some reason. OK so Nike have just chucked in their ads but this could be a precurser to or something...



Mattmanland said...

I'm not sure if semantic matching of creative is going to be a better answer than search based display inventory. Semantic matching allows creative to be relevant to the content on the page, and will at least result in good brand association, but if you are a regular reader of a site it does not mean you are actively searching for the product related to the text you are reading. Case in point. I read your blog because of an Ogilvy affiliation, but i could have been served a nike ad.
The technology might be smarter then i give it credit for :)

Geoff Northcott said...

Hey Giles, I think the idea of a "week without banners" on the web to get people actually looking at the space again is an interesting one, but would only work if everybody started serving useful content and services in that space immediately afterwards.

Otherwise, it's basically just a gimmick, and the effects would be amazingly shortlived once people realized it was back to the same old advertising.

Smarter, contextual placement is a big step in the right direction, but you're still putting "brand messaging" up against all the other potential things a person could do next on the web.

Being relevant and contextual is one half of the equation, the other is providing content or services in that space that's compelling enough for people to actually choose to engage. And that's pretty rarely an advertisement, which is why branded entertainment and brand utility are such hot topics right now.

In terms of using ad space to serve art instead of ads, have a look at the Gawker Artist program:

Giles Rhys Jones said...

agree with both, cheers for the comments. re; useful how could i have forgotten tailgate's fully transactional banners:

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I agree with this kind of information!! the banner is one of the best ones.,all the strategies have to be on focus in the success of the final product!