When Banners Get Creative
In the online world banners have a notorious reputation for being ignored as they usually tend to be quite boring and end up just distract me from what I am trying to focus on. Some companies have turned the notion of the boring and annoying banner around and come up with some really cool alternatives that don’t really give you any other option but wanting to click on them - even if its just to see what happens. Here are some very creative banner ads that have managed to capture my attention.
The first one is probably the most well-known. It comes from Apple and is very inspiring in its approach of employing three separate, but interacting, banners on a single page. The interaction between the banners is unusual and grabs your attention almost imidietly, but my delight increased when the banner ads actually start interacting with other banners that iniitally seem to have little or nothing to do with the Apple banners themselves. The great, dry humour that characterises the video ads is also evident here. Click here to view all the ads and here to see the banners themselves.
Another banner that caught my attention is the “Meet the Volkswagens” Twitter ad. It asks you to simply enter your username and by analysing your tweeting habits it will determine what VW is most suitable for you. It bases this on keywords within your tweets and is completely unobtrusive and fun... I found myself being offered the range topping GLI. Very clever idea, check it out right here
Visa credit cards have recently changed their slogan simply to revolve around the word “go”, as in “go Visa” or “More people go with Visa”. In line with this they have started an ambitious new banner campaign where the banners are actually able to ascertain the user’s location, their time of day and are even able to make food suggestions. You can see in the example below how the banners implement this functionality, such as: “It’s 8.14am, why not go for a treat?” A pop-up will roll over the banner showing up local coffee shops, for instance. Visa plans to utilise recommendations from Fandango, LastFM, OpenTable and Daily Candy of movies, concerts, restaurants and similar based on user’s preferences on those sites.
This sort of advertising is sure to appeal to users, providing personalisation and interactivity and therefore a welcome break from the usually monotonous world of banners. The flagship of the online campaign remains the Flickr driven microsite where users submit images that are then arranged to create a “gosaic” of images that showcase people’s activities and experiences from across the globe. To check out the "gosaic" click here and to read more about the campaign check out Visa’s press release here.
Although not an online banner like the rest Tweetmybumper.com is a clever idea hatched by a guy named Blake Killian who a short time ago decided to create a sticker aimed at increasing his Twitter followers. The sticker directs people to his website where they sign up to follow him and at the same time order a sticker in return for a small fee. Quite a clever idea, as this unconventional approach is targeted at a genuinely staggering amount of Twitter fans and users. You can follow Blake on Twitter here.
It has been almost 15 years since HotWired sold the first banner ad to AT&T and it seems like we are fast approaching a creative revolution in banner advertising. IF the above examples are to go by we are likely to see brands creatively playing in this space more and more.