Ad Theory

There’s a fine line between a professional-looking ad and a fast-selling ad. Online banners cannot be treated like a magazine ad, brochure, or billboard. Since banners are limited in physical size, the advertiser only has a few seconds to impact the viewer on the web page and get them to click on the banner. Most case studies have shown that an animated ad will get noticed by the consumer more than a static banner. So a logo and random text thrown together will not work, but well-written content and a strategically designed banner can increase click-thru rate dramatically.

Tagline or a “HOOK” phrase
To interest and entice the potential clients, a well conceived tagline or catchy phrase is key to leading a web surfer to look at the ad. Keep in mind to TEASE your audience! Complementary colors, fonts and typography or treatment of the fonts are essential.
Call to Action and Timing
To hook the viewer or potential client and increase the click-thru rate, it’s important to have a “Call to Action” phrase. Most commonly used is CLICK HERE! “Calls to Action” are placed at the end of the banner or final frame. Animating the “CLICK HERE” phrase or button can positively impact your presence on the web.
Pictures, Graphics and Color
A picture tells a thousand words. Properly selected pictures that relate to the ad copy (product /services) should be integrated. Stunning pictures, graphics, composition, color or (Flash) interactive ads will often impact the surfer emotionally and arouse their curiosity. E-mail and street addresses are not recommended, as some addresses can be too long and can be very hard to read.
K.I.S.S Ad Content
Well-written ad copy is important. Keep it short and simple. Determine what message or product you want to offer that would interest the viewer. The message should be concise and straight to the point and not misleading. Too much information and illegible fonts will often have a negative impact and lead to a low click-thru on the ad. It’s advisable to TEASE your potential clients by not saying too much and entice them to click on the banner and drive traffic to your site.

Examples of Effective Online Ads

  • Ads are simple, clean and professional
  • Simple opening HOOK tag lines are applied
  • Call to action is very clear to the viewer
  • Some have some simple animation but not overly used thoughout the ads
  • All banner examples are telling you directly what it’s offering
  • Banners are not text heavy and are teasing the viewers to click or to find out more


Examples of Poor-Performing Online Ads

Example of a bad leaderboard ad

  • This Lacks a solid message
  • Emails should not be used and are often too long
  • Text is very hard to read
  • Too much text and it’s too complex
  • Colors are not appealing
  • No company logo also makes this ad look like a “Spam ad and looks suspicious to the viewer

Example of a bad rectangle ad

  • Too much information
  • The main offer or message is lost, the viewer gains nothing from click on the ad
  • No call to action
  • Typography is poor because serif fonts are hard to read

Example of a bad rectangle ad

  • Even though client may have a brochure or print ad it doesn’t translate well to online ads
  • Too much information being jammed into a small banner
  • Text is hard to read and the viewer will be disinterested and no click on the banner
  • Street addresses are irrelevant to an online ad
  • Photo is irrelevant to the ad as well

Example of a bad skyscraper ad

  • Bad design because there’s too much text information to work with
  • Call to action is completely lost
  • Fonts must be legible. Here the black text is the wrong color to use on a dark blue background.
  • The image is questionable and doesn’t really relate to the message