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Subject: Re: UKNM: Mo' Banner Blues
From: Ray Taylor
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 13:36:08 GMT

From: jim smith <jimsatpop3 [dot] mail [dot] demon [dot] net>

>there are no complexities. the problem is that you're trying to make something
>work inappropriately.

>good advertising is a subtle process, but its fundamentals are simple: matching
>medium, brand and consumer desires in the best way to achieve a marketing
>objective.

So, it's not complex, but it is subtle? How I wish I paid attention to my
English lessons at school.

>banner ads on the web are as inappropriate as lineage classifieds on the
>cinema screen. that might sound like a slogan, but i'm dead serious: you
>wouldn't try to convince a client that all their cinema advertising should
be 14 >point times,

No, I wouldn't, 'cos the cinema audience may be 100m away from the screen,
the web audience which is no more than 0.1m away, and at that distance 14pt
can be read quite easily.

>..so why try to convince a client that a medium based around
>community and information
>is appropriate for short sharp branding efforts - particularly given that you're
>trying to imbue brand values through a technology (animated gifs) that is s
>limited as woodblocks.

No, you miss the point. It's not about using a technology to get to an
audience, it's about using a medium. The technological limitations of any
medium is something that you work around, not moan about. No good saying TV
is useless for selling purfume because you can't smell the product. You have
to use a bit of imagination to make best use of what is available.

>..banner ads are a low-budget, extremely-low-response medium

No, they are not. You can place a print ad for 50, and get millions of
pairs of eyeballs. To get 100,000 impressions, maybe 20,000 people, you need
to spend a couple of grand at least.

A banner campaign is anything but cheap advertising. Response is much higher
than in many other media if you have a response-led campaign and put it
together right.

>..giving
>someone a bit extra to do it "intelligently" is not at all cost-effective.
>particularly not when the media buyer pretends they're selling consultancy and
>strategy instead of haggling skills.

If it costs you _more_ to use an agency than do it yourself, even without
factoring in your own time, you are using the wrong agency. A decent agency
will reduce the cost and/or increase the ROI. Most media owners do not
volunteer 15% discount to direct buyers (as far as I am aware, please let me
know if I am wrong) whereas they usually give 15%+ to agencies. So it
doesn't cost anything to use a commission-only media agency. Some agencies
charge more than 15% of the media budget I know, but lots don't. But even
the smart agencies that charge a high fee instead of commissions to manage
the campaign will usually get a better ROI to the client per spent.

>> With 20 million pa being spent on web advertising in the UK, and rising
>> rapidly, isn't it about time that UK advertisers started to take web
>> advertising seriously and act professionally?

>they are: they're building sponsorship-led sites and becoming partners in
>portals. the smart money knows that banner advertising does nt work
>effectively in this iteration of the web.

Oh, back to the "banner advertising is nasty" routine. Fact is, banner
advertising does work effectively. Whole brands (such as Amazon) have been
established on the back of banner advertising, some companies have converted
a whole chunk of their sales to web channels using banner advertising
(easyJet, some 20% of all tickets sold, Dell? Can't remember how much).

Of course bunging an animated gif at a web site and doing nothing else is
unlikely to yield any kind of results. But chanting the mantra "banners do
not work on the internet" doesn't help either. It's the sort of thing you
might have heard a no-brain ad exec say a couple of years ago in a Soho
cafe, 'cept in his case it was probably "branding doesn't work on the
internet" which was a follow on from the previous year's "advertising
doesn't work on the internet."

Banner advertising works or doesn't work for the same reason any other sort
of advertising works or doesn't work. And there is a lot more to internet
advertising and promotion than banners.

But I guess this industry is bound to fill up with people who say you
_can't_ do this and you _can't_ do that. Thankfully, there are still some
who work on an old-fashioned can-do basis.

Ray Taylor

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