Friends Don't Let Friends Place Banner Ads

I had a tough conversation recently. It was tough because I had to let a client make the wrong decision. In fact, I told them it was the wrong decision, and I was tactful, but they got the message. After my gentle protest and suggestion for taking another approach I was met with a resounding gong of silence (insert cricket sounds here) and it was then that I knew they were going to do it anyway. What is it? IT was banner ads.

The goal this client came to us with was to drive more traffic to their website but they already had decided they wanted to try to accomplish this with banner ads on a particular website they selected. After a few minutes of listening to them I just had to tell them that it isn't generally a good idea and that there are better (and much cheaper) ways to go about it. As I mentioned above they wanted to do it anyway...and so they are...but here's where we're really going to test this...

In addition to the banner ads we're going to put some video for this company's same product on YouTube. We'll be able to track the number of views and links from both areas and see what happens. I don't quite know what they're going to pay for a month of banner ads...but I know what they're going to pay for the YouTube video...$0.00. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I'll admit, I've got an issue with banner ads. I rank them right up there with the people who sell email lists that are usually just spam. Banner ads are the very reason I was interested in switching from Hotmail to Gmail a year or so ago (Gmail only has text ads). Banner ads just don't work most of the time. They're not a wise expense. An effective banner ad would have to be highly targeted on a very specific kind of site to even have a chance. For instance if Apple had a banner ad for an iPod accessory they're going to have a good chance of getting some attention for the ad, but even then most people still ignore them. By and large banner ads are ignored and with all the effective (and free) web 2.0 options today like blogs, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, video blogs, Wikipedia, etc. there are much better ways to go. Needless to say I'm excited to see how this little experiment turns out! In the end I expect the score to be: Banner ads - 0, Web - 2.0.

1 comment:

Dan said...

This will be intresting though I have to agree with your theory that the YouTube thing will work better. I have posteed on YouTube and it can be difficault to get the viewers. The content has to be somthing that really relates to the people there.