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Industry / The Banner Brief

October 10, 2011

Banners are a necessary evil in our industry. We all know that they are quite restrictive when it comes to being creative, but that does not mean that it is impossible to pull of something awesome. Rather take this as a challenge. Here are a few things to keep in mind on your pathway to success.

Highly interactive banners increase brand awareness by over 60%. Be sure to employ appropriate levels of interactivity within your creative. Keep in mind where your banner will live and devise compelling uses of animation and sound to distinguish yourself from the rest of the host’s page.

Use of space
By use of space, I mean use of “white-space”. The page your banner will be served on already has a ton of information on it. Create an oasis. Think about how you will separate your message from the content on the page, and make your work stand out.

Compelling Images
Steer clear of stock photos. Time and time again, I can spot the same straw cabana sitting on a dock, near the crystal blue water. Typography and branding work just as hard as that overused image

Creative Message
Short, clever copy that draws the user in and leads them down the path to action is what you want. This is the first step in generating a click through.

Call to Action
“Click here” was a great line in 1997, simply because users were all about clicking and exploring. The web was still new to them. That ship has since sailed, think of what you are offering and tie it into the call to action. Make is fun, mysterious, or thought provoking.

Intelligent Branding
Consistency is the key. Make sure the “carpets match the drapes”. Brand retention and brand awareness is just as critical a measure as a click through. Make sure your brand look and sound the same in your banner as it does on your brand’s website, television spots, and print media.

Bold Headlines
Let’s face it. Banners are small, and people hardly have enough time to read the content of the page your banner is sitting on. Distill your message to be concise, sharp and actionable .

Be Funny (if you can)
Humor is engaging and memorable, especially on a platform like the web. When you can take a lighter more playful approach to you brand communication. Light-hearted comedy plays well on the Internet, use that to your advantage.

Need some inspiration?
Try poking around the good old Internet. Bannerblog is a good place to start. Another great tool for scanning the online advertising landscape is Moat which is a clever new search engine for banners.

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