Are banner ads really dead?  I think not.

Last week I wrote about adding client “Contributed Articles” to your arsenal of online features but don’t mistake that banner ads are still working.

As a matter of fact, this morning a banner ad worked… on me.  I chose, not a regular destination, Taco Bell for lunch and a banner ad was what made me choose it.  So, it’s funny to me to hear “online industry experts” claim that the banner ad is dead.

tacobellad

I must admit that I did not click on the ad.  I didn’t even order the Crunchwrap Slider listed on the image.  I didn’t have to though.  Seeing the banner triggered an actual store (drive-thru) visit.  So if you ask the marketing team at Taco Bell, I’m sure they would agree that the banner actually worked!  Technically, yes but…

Over the past few years, consumers have developed banner-blindness.  And that’s because banner ads have become so standardized.  They have a similar look with no relevant/actionable content.  That makes them easy to ignore or to be looked upon as “in the way” of the content you’re looking for.

The banner ad that prompted a store visit worked, but it could’ve been better.  It’s most certain that your station will be required to create banner ads for local clients since they don’t have the budget for ad agencies.  These banner ads you create need to be actionable in some way.  Otherwise, they have a higher chance at being irrelevant to your website visitor.

Taco Bell’s banner ad would have been more successful if it had an incentive attached like a free food item just for clicking.  This way, they would have my click data to judge future ads by AND my in-store visit.

Next week we’ll talk about ways to create banner ads that work.