Categorized | web marketing

Dynamic Logic’s new report: focus on online ad’s creative more than placement

Dynamic Logic, a subsidiary company of market researcher, Millward Brown, just released a new study showing that the effectiveness of online advertisements have more to do with the creative than hyper-vigilance in placement or other metric-centric tools. Dynamic Logic finds that, once you have rationalized the placement and timing of online ads, it’s creative that gives you the biggest bump. And they have found that most of us do the creative wrong.

Here are Dynamic Logic’s five top recommendations for creating an online ad (including text ads):

Keep the message simple
The best ads have one or no more than two messages pushed at the user in eventually pushing a click or a purchase decision. The basic logic of a banner ad, video ad, button, or any other kind of online ad revolves around the undeniable fact that users spend very little time with an online ad — a second or two at most. Copy-heavy ads routinely fare poorly in terms of user response.

You’ve got one or two seconds — make it count
According to Dynamic Logic’s research, you only have one or two seconds each time a user sees your ad. As a result, make sure that the ad scores its main message within that second — no matter when the viewer looks at the ad. Online ads that cycle through copy risk having the viewer’s attention during the least effective part of the ad copy cycle, so it’s best to make sure that the money copy is always there.

No reveals
As a corollary to the rule above, the whole narrative logic of reveals is shown to be monumentally ineffective in online advertising. Too many online advertisers like to cycle through a message only to “reveal” what the ad is about in the very last frame. Dynamic Logic has shown that these ads consistently rank near the bottom in terms of grabbing users’ attention, sticking in their memories, or getting clicks or purchases. We, the creators of the ads, like to think in narratives. Users don’t. The lesson is: get to the point and stay there.

Put the brand in the forefront
Too many advertisers hide the brand or save it for the end of an animation; instead, according to Dynamic Logic’s research, ads that make the brand constant and prominent fare far better in eventually driving a click or purchase decision. Creative folk like putting their creative ideas front and center; consumers, however, prefer to have the brand front and center.

The most persuasive tool in an ad is a human face
Catalog, print, and direct marketers have known for decades that ads always perform better in terms of awareness and intent when they feature a human face prominently. They get more attention and create better feeling. For some reason that I can’t quite fathom, online advertisers seem to believe this fundamental law of print advertising doesn’t apply to them. Dynamic Logic has the numbers to prove that human faces get Web users’ attention, stick the ad better in their memories, and drive clicks and purchases. Welcome back to the future, folks!

It’s vitally important to understand, however, that when Dynamic Logic says that creative trumps placement, they mean after the ad has been more or less well-placed. Dynamic Logic is comparing creative changes relative to fine-tuning placement. So their research does not invalidate the long-held truth that placement produces the biggest bump in user response (and offer second). But once you get that big bump, it’s better to get the creative right than tweak, fine-tune, and calibrate the placement.

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