Banner advertising: why do we ignore it?

Admit it: you've never really clicked on a banner ad unless it had a sexy girl on it (if you're a guy) or if there was a diamond ring (if you're a girl) involved. We all suffer from ‘banner blindness'. This means that the dozen blinking, fluttering banner adverts on our favourite websites nearly always recede helplessly into the background. So, why do we ignore banner advertising as much as we do?
The banner environment makes our job very hard as digital marketers. As much as we shout about the ‘brand building' properties of buying space online, nothing really beats a solid, honest-to-goodness click-through to a client's website. This is the Holy Grail of online advertising, and it's worthwhile to examine the top three reasons why internet users avoid banners at all costs.

Reason 1: We're living in the Attention Economy
You can read more here, but to summarise: a) we've exposed to too much information online, b) we've become better at filtering out unnecessary information, c) our attention is thus worth more than it was in the past.

Reason 2: We've had too many bad experiences
Trust me, you can click on 50 banner ads and the odds are that 49 of them will lead to poor experiences on the other side. This means either a) the page that you're led to (the landing page) does not match the promise of the banner b) the execution on the page you come to is terrible.

Reason 3: Banners interrupt our browsing experience
Let's face it; you're not there to look at freaking banners. You came to a specific page for a specific reason. The banner is an interruption; an aberration in your online journey. Marketers who understand this know that the best way for a banner to work is to augment the content on the page. Relevant, functional banner content is the way forward. An example could be something like providing relevant, up-to-date stock prices on a banner appearing on a financial site, or a finance calculator on a car site... i.e. something other than positioning your logo with a flashing star around it.

These three reasons highlight why you'll probably ignore 99 out of the next 100 banners you see. If we as marketers understand this, it will set us on the right direction to creating banner adverts that convert.


This article was written by Fred Roed, CEO of digital marketing agency, World Wide Creative, and originally appeared in World Wide Creative's marketing education portal, The Heavy Chef Project. For more articles, click here.

Click here to contact World Wide Creative and set up a consultation.


25 Nov 2009 11:46

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common sense
sad old stereotypes-
Jeez, if you've got to resort to sad old stereotypes like all guys click on naked chick adverts and all girls are so desperate to get married they spend their lives clicking on ads for rings, I certainly wouldn't trust you with my online ad spend.
Posted on 26 Nov 2009 11:42
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