Clickthroughs Aren’t Everything: Banner Ads and Brands

Ian Lurie Mar 29 2007

If you’re faint of heart, cover your ears, for I speak heresy:

Clicks aren’t all that matter.

A study by Millward Brown Interactive showed that banner exposure can boost brand awareness by as much as 9%, even if a user doesn’t click.

Why I Agree
I’m a branding curmudgeon: If it isn’t generating sales right now I tend to feel somehow betrayed by display advertising. However, there’s no question that brand-building is a legitimate, beneficial exercise. And a well-planned, well-designed banner campaign can do that, even if no one clicks on your banners.

Why I Disagree
This is a study by an agency. Assuming they get paid the same way most of us do, based in part on ad sales, then they have every incentive to prove that banners work even in the absence of clicks.

The Takeaway
Banners do work. Even if no one clicks them. Don’t run your whole campaign around that concept, though. I like to see campaigns driven 70% by direct marketing that gets me sales now, and 30% by some kind of ambient branding development.

Source: “The Advertising Business: Operations, Creativity, Media Planning, Integrated Communications” (Sage Publications, Inc)

tags : conversation marketing