James Brown & Banner Advertising

James Brown, the Hardest Working Man in Show Biz, earned his title with his splits, hard hitting grooves, riffs and stabs. Carrying the funk scene on his shoulders for years, even when funk was in the funk, was a tall order for a short man. But he did it.

The interactive advertising industry, like the music industry, has its own lineup of characters to make sure the beat goes on. For online advertising, the hardest working medium in the biz has to be the banner ad. Like Mr. Brown, it has survived new trends and new kids on the block, yet has found ways to get on up and get even.

Banner’s got a brand new bag

Recently, renewed interest in the banner ad has been fueled by new targeting technologies coupled with more visually engaging and interactive Flash and video formats. The hardest working ad format in the biz, is working even harder. But working for what?

It seems that the industry has chosen to take advantage of these technological improvements in two ways: Create more relevant advertising (via better targeting) and secondly, more engaging ads (via richer media experiences).

More relevant advertising generates more clicks. Can’t argue with that logic. However, I’m not sure advertisers have quite figured out what to do with the new rich(er) media ads. My gut feeling says that many advertisers are investing in this type of advertising purely for their branding effect. Maybe the thinking is “if we can’t make users click, let’s at least make the experience memorable, and score high on brand recall and awareness.” That’s a tall order for a small banner.

Take them to center stage

So, I have an issue with this thinking. If you want to do brand advertising, why resort to a 728×90 or 350 x 250 pixel canvas on a 3rd party site? Why wouldn’t brand advertisers’ primary goal be to get the user to click away from the publisher page and into a rich, interactive environment completely under the control of the advertiser? Why tap-dance in a closet when you can do splits center stage?

A different second act for the banner

At Linkstorm we have chosen to take a different approach to improving banner efficiency that stands in contrast to both how “other vendors” think about targeting as well as engagement.

Targeting: We believe that the best targeting technology can never truly know what the user really wants. Our format is designed to allow the user to quickly identify and navigate to content that is relevant to them.

User Engagement: We believe that the best place to convert a customer, whatever the campaign goal is, is on the advertiser’s site, not in the banner. Our banners are therefore designed to be a conduit rather than a destination, where we increase both the quantity and quality of the traffic the advertiser receives. Simply, more & better clicks.

- vidar

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