Some say the #1 rule in advertising is to tell the truth. Fair enough. It’s not a good idea to promise something you can’t deliver and set your customers up for disappointment.
I’d like to propose that rule #1.1 is to be smart with website banner ads. Or, more to the point, avoid drop down banner ads.
This type of banner ad starts out as a thin strip and then expands vertically when the page loads, pushing the page content down. After about 10-15 seconds, the ad retracts, moving the page content back up to its original position. A person attempting to read the page content is forced to deal with the disruption of the content shifting around (or to close up the ad to its original size).
It’s a pretty major disruption, and it doesn’t build goodwill on the part of customers (toward the website or the advertiser). Plus, enraging visitors doesn’t seem like the best way to go when your goal is for them to buy your product or service.
Here are some effective things to keep in mind for your advertising strategy:
- Context matters. Customers are more likely to listen to you when your ad supports their goals, rather than combats them. This is why Google has found great success serving relevant ads with search results.
- Stick around. If you want to take advantage of new technology, try retargeting to get your ads in front of customers more often. Repetition builds awareness, making it more likely your customers will remember you when they need your product or service.
- Remember the humans. Using newfangled advertising methods may temporarily draw eyeballs, but people don’t want to have to step around your ad to complete their task. Finding a way to flow with them and support their efforts makes you seem like a genius in their eyes.
What do you think of drop down banner ads — pure brilliance or painful blunder?