Sep 08, 2011

[INFOGRAPHIC] 8 Key Elements of a Banner Ad

In a meeting last week, a client asked me, "Emily, what is the one key to a successful banner ad?" This question... this very simple and brief question--for me--had a pretty complex answer. My effort to reply with brevity was clearly ruined by my knowledge that there isn't one single element that makes a display ad, or banner ad, "successful." I listed off things like a moving call-to-action, straightforward messaging, consumer interactivity, appealing use of space and overall creativity.

You may wonder why I put my little quotes around "successful" and it's because any intuitive marketer/advertiser will ask you what success means for your brand... for your campaign. There are hardly any plain ol' branding campaigns anymore--people want to sell, they want a direct response from consumers.

Knowing all this, I felt like I couldn't dumb successful ads down to just one key element.

Little did I know the good people over at were feeling the exact same way, and they decided to make an infographic about it. While I bet this is a question they get much more frequently, I'm inclined to believe that great minds think alike. lists interactivity (bingo), good use of space (bango), compelling imagery (huzzah), creative message (two birds, one stone?), a call-to-action (hopefully a 'DUH'), brand incorporation, strong text, and appropriate humor (how could I leave that out?) as the Top 8 key elements of a successful banner ad.

The one question you must ask yourself when brainstorming on your next big banner campaign is, "If I was the target audience... would this banner resonate with me? Does it speak to my style, my wants, my desires, my needs?" Most audiences are quite diverse, even when you parse them down to the same gender, geographic location, age, and marital status--advertisers and marketers have to dig deeper than that.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in this space. Feel free to engage real-time with me @ecarroll01 on Twitter!

[Post contributed by Emily Carroll]