How do you get banners noticed? Combine everything. AMP First

As sad as it is, I normally don’t pay too much attention to banners unless they are really different or combine a multiple of interesting elements. While doing some research on Rome, I came across this banner for AMP First. It’s the first banner that has made me stop and look for a while (see screens below).

AMP First - interactive banner

AMP First - interactive banner

AMP First - legals within banner

AMP First - legals within banner

AMP First - call  to action

AMP First - call to action

Why do I like this banner?

  1. User interaction: for the first iteration, the banner automatically selects one of the competitor products then it invites the user to select or compare another.
  2. Simple comparison: there are several elements that most consumer compare a savings/cash account against: rate, features and bank. This banner does it in a way that it only takes 2 seconds to understand. They have made something hard look simple.
  3. Legals aren’t a feature: most financial institutions legal department don’t allow a banner (or any piece of creative) to pass through without having sentences and sentences of legal disclaimers. This banner allows the user to interact and find out all the legal disclaimers without it taking away from the banner. Well done AMP legal!
  4. Summary end frame: the last frame of the banner summarises all of the account details and gives users a clear call to action.

For a financial banner, I think this is a really clean, simple and effective use of the space.



Does anyone else know any simple and effective banners?

Campaign set-up vs maintenance: what’s a fair split?

As an industry we are stuck in the ‘set and forget’ mentality. As soon as a campaign goes live, we all quickly pat ourselves on the back and move on to the next campaign, only thinking about the campaign when there is downtime (not often) or the campaign is close to finishing. The reason for this is that often there is no consistent process or methodology behind implementing a continuous learning culture. Unless maintenance/optimisation is ingrained in the people working on the campaign, it really doesn’t happen.

To try and change this mentality (both within the client and internally at the agency), we have recently introduced a 80:20 split with our clients. From their overall campaign budget, 80% is dedicated to the initial set-up of the campaign and 20% is dedicated to the ongoing maintenance/optimisation. Ideally, the split should be 60:40, but until we can prove the benefits, 80:20 is a good start.

What’s included in campaign set-up? Set-up is the initial campaign creation. It’s the awareness generating elements (online advertising, offline advertising, 1-to-1 advertising, social networking) and the engagement elements (microsite, corporate landing pages, stores).

What’s included in campaign maintenance/optimisation? Maintenance/optimisation is any updates made to the campaign after launch. It’s the creative optimisation to the awareness elements (rotation and testing of all executions – online being easier and quicker to test and understand results) and results optimisation to the engagement elements (content structures based on search results – both externally and on the site, creative testing and rotation.


To make sure this is a success, the following need to be considered:

  1. Owner – there must be an owner within the agency to drive this. The best person to do that is either a Data Director or the Account Director. Equally, there needs to be an owner on the client side. Someone who understands the numbers (ROI, CPA, CPC) and the need for making campaigns a success.
  2. Benchmarks – initially, there must be some targets or benchmarks set. Over time these benchmarks will become more realistic after campaign data has been collected and analysed. During the first campaign period, it is critical to ensure that the benchmarks are revisited and molded to reflect the results.
  3. Consistency – all communications (reports, results) must be delivered in a consistent manner: same time frame, format, benchmarks and structure. This will help the client and agency to understand recommendation, requirements, improvements and work more seamlessly together.
  4. Relevance – any recommendations made within maintenance/optimisation must be relevant to the client and the campaign. The recommendations must also be achievable within the remaining budget.
  5. Budget – to ensure the maintenance/optimisation budget doesn’t disappear to fund additional media or other creative ideas, it must be included in the original estimate and signed off by the client. This ensures that the campaign will be remembered and not just put on the ‘set and forget’ shelf.


The set-up/maintenance strategy is extremely important, particularly now with the current economic downturn. The best and worst thing about interactive is it’s accountability and we can justify why we recommend doing things and what the direct impact is on our clients results.

Written by Dominique Hind.

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Online advertising award entries – what to include?

In the second round of LIA judging, there were still 50 online ads (banner ads) that needed to be judged. Most online ads are extremely self-explanatory and easy to judge, but some of the entries did need some explaining (for me, it was usually those that weren’t in English).

There were only a few entries that had personalised their entries and created a specific entry landing page. Only a handful created a video showing the details of the banner including the interaction. These made it so much easier.

They don’t need to include much detail, just a brief overview. Below are a few of the good examples of award entries.

IBM Banner Award Entry

IBM Banner Award Entry

Smart Banner Award Entry

Smart Banner Award Entry

Smart Banner Award Entry Video

Smart Banner Award Entry Video

Something that bugged me as a judge was seeing that agencies hadn’t bothered changing the award entry pages for the different awards. An example of this was RMG with their Huggies entry. Rather than putting your award entries to specific sites, put them on a general site. It will help to minimise the preparation and work required in entry time.

Huggies Cannes Entry repurposed for LIA

Huggies Cannes Entry repurposed for LIA


Even though banner advertising can be easy and self-explanatory, they still need the same level of attention given to their award entries. The banner category was the most competitive, but there weren’t many entries that stood out. There were a lot of great executions, but not too much explaining.

The key learnings are

  1. Dedicate the same amount of time to the entries
  2. Think about the judge – what do they need to see? what will help the entry stand out? why should it deserve to win?
  3. Make a simple video of the key elements/animations.
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Web development: 10 assumptions to think about

Palmer Web Marketing wrote an interesting article about 10 assumptions that must be considered when developing a website.  Below are the 10 assumptions:

  1. People will know how to find your website
  2. People know what you sell
  3. Everything will go as planned
  4. People know where to click
  5. People know how to get home
  6. People know where they are
  7. People know how to buy
  8. People will volunteer loads of personal information
  9. People will contact customer service if they have a question or problem
  10. People will come back

I think assumption 1 and 10 are true within most agencies: people know how to find your site and they will return. Too often we build these great sites for clients, but don’t think about how we are going to drive traffic to the site or what we are going to do to ensure it keeps back. As corny as it is, we need to think of a website being like an island, without bridges it doesn’t get any traffic. It’s our role to define what those bridges are (a combination of paid for and free traffic) and how we can generate a constant stream of traffic to the site/island.

There are so many ways that traffic can be driven to a website (I will post more about this because it is one of my favourite topics):

In regards to driving repeat traffic, this is extremely hard. Question: how many campaign sites do you return to on a weekly basis? I don’t go back to many unless it’s connected to a promotion/competition that I am actually interested in winning or it is one of my client’s competitors sites.


If there are two things to take out of this post, they are think about:

  1. How you are going to drive traffic to the site consistently (even after the campaign launch period)
  2. How you will drive traffic back to the site (what’s the incentive? content? promotion? other? Why would they come back?)
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Digital marketing 101 – An interactive intro

One of the most viewed posts (from this blog) and referring search terms are around digital training or advertising agency training for digital/interactive. Every agency is craving digital training and trying to up skill all staff quickly. In Sydney, there are so many digital courses and conferences out there, but it is hard to know which ones are right for the different skill sets.

Based on the iSchool sessions I ran at Y&R Brands (see previous post), I have put together an updated digital marketing introduction or basic 101 session for agency staff.


The purpose of the presentation is to provide a basic overview of digital marketing, the different facets and how companies are embracing digital. This is only a short/quick introduction to digital.


Traditional advertising agency staff across all areas: strategy, account service, production and creative.


The presentation covers very basic digital topics including:

  1. Short introduction to the Internet
  2. Customers online: a paradigm shift
  3. Advertising today
  4. Online advertising
  5. Search consumption (SEM & SEO)
  6. Blogs
  7. Social networks
  8. Website
  9. Email
  10. Benchmarks & ROI
  11. Top 3 online trends

The presentation doesn’t cover the following topics (another presentation will be created for these):

  1. Mobile
  2. RSS
  3. In-depth web development
  4. Driving traffic (social marketing)


If you would like a copy of the presentation, please send me an email (in presentation) or post me a comment.

Written by Dominique Hind

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