Improving online ads

December 4, 2008

Banner ads are the standard when it comes to online advertising, but lately there’s been talk of how well they really work, and of how little money they actually bring in per reader (as opposed to print). But what if you could drastically improve their effectiveness?

An article in yesterday’s New York Times discusses a pair of California-based companies doing exactly that. They’re experimenting with colours, fonts, images and other features of standard ads – as they interact with the web page they’re displayed on – to collect data on what gets the most clicks, and the most sell-throughs. And their results show that advertisers, marketers and designers may have to shift their mindset when it comes to creating ads:

“I think the creative community has to get very comfortable with results-based outcomes in marketing,” said Mr. Hanlon, whose company has an interest in Tumri. “There are a lot of creative people who didn’t sign up for that kind of world.”

Bant Breen, the president of worldwide digital communications at Initiative, the Interpublic Group media buying and planning firm, had a similar view. “The traditional creative process right now is not structured to essentially deliver hundreds of permutations, or hundreds of ideas for messaging,” said Mr. Breen, whose firm is using Tumri to determine which ads are working.

“There’s no doubt that there will be a lot of data that can be collected that could be applied to the creative process.”

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