The Hated Banner Ad

The ad that spans the entire length of the website you’re looking at… the ad you accidentally clicked and quickly closed… the hated banner ad. We’ve all seen them and we’ve all avoided clicking on them, and yet they keep popping up on almost every website. With a click-through rate of about 1 in 1,000 views, most people would agree that banner ads don’t work. 


Not so fast. While banner ads don’t receive a high click-through rate, they can succeed in increasing awareness for your brand or product. A potential customer might not click on the ad she sees for XYZ shampoo while she is reading a news story, but the next time she goes to the store needing shampoo XYZ might be the first brand that comes to mind. Just like with TV commercials and print ads that are not direct response, there is no way to measure the kind of awareness banner ads actually generate. Therefore, people only look at click-through rates and deem them unsuccessful.


Companies can also increase the effectiveness of their banner ads by making them interactive. Gone are the days of a static image and text on an ad. Today we are seeing ads with video, interactive games and more. These interactive banner ads are 27% more likely to generate a response from viewers. The longer the viewer interacts with the ad, the more likely her interest in the product will increase and she will be more likely to click on the ad to find out more about it. By doing this, she is not only aware of the product but she is also actively looking for more information about the product and is one step closer to purchasing.


Take a look at some of these creative and interactive banner ads. If you came across one of these while reading the news, would it grab your attention? Would you spend a little longer watching the video or following the directions it gives you? You might be surprised.