Making Banner Ads Cool Again
from the is-it-possible? dept
We talk a lot about the idea that advertising is content and content is advertising, and there are always those who get confused and insist that they hate advertising… and that if they see content as advertising they won’t pay attention. But explain that to the millions of folks who tune into the Super Bowl each year to watch the commercials rather than the game. If the content is good, no one cares that it’s also advertising. Of course, usually when we talk about this sort of thing, we’re talking about content/advertising that goes outside the usual boundaries of advertising — since the traditional forms of advertising have been so overdone and are so painful that people instinctively ignore them.
But could the banner ad, for example, be rescued? I still remember, way back in the early days of banner ads, actually paying quite a bit of attention to an HP banner ad for the Mopier. In fact, I remember the ad so much, I still remember the name of the product it was advertising. That’s because the ad itself was fun. It was a game of Pong within the ad itself, with the paddles controlled via mouseovers. That was advertising that worked… But, for the most part these days, banner ads are either boring or intrusive. Yet, sometimes, people still do creative things. Mike (different one, obviously) pointed me to an award-winning banner ad from Pringles, which is quite silly, but fun to click, because it tells a story (and does so amusingly) and you want to find out how it ends. I don’t know if the initial call to action is enough to get people to dive in, but if advertisers actually put more thought into making their ads interesting and fun, perhaps people wouldn’t just ignore them all the time.