The Eye-Catching. The Controversial. The Adventurous.
Creative banner design, ad blockers, ad clicking robots, and search engine penalties for ad violations mires today’s online advertising environment. This environment throws a heavy lift on graphic designers searching for ways to create an effective web banner design. By that we mean a banner ad that stays on brand, doesn’t annoy the website viewer, and actually converts.
Drafting a cool web banner design is doable despite this obstacle-filled internet space. Let’s review the factors behind an effective web banner ad, a key component of any web design.
Elements of a Successful Creative Web Banner Design
It’s important to first research search engines and their advertising policies to fully understand how to deliver a successful, creative banner ad. Google lists its advertising policies, and it will penalize websites that do not follow those policies. Google’s advice on creating web banner ads is a bit dated, from 2016, but its advice still rings true: “the success of a banner campaign comes down to creative quality.” Google further recommends that website banner ads should be compelling, concise, and clear.
With those action items in mind, the workflow of a creative banner ad should contain the following tasks.
The marketing team should conduct thorough research on the target audience. Why? To produce a message that invokes one of the three models of persuasion – ethos, pathos, and logos — to resonate with the target audience and to entice them to click.
The designer then should work with the marketing team to identify the visual elements to enforce that persuasion model. The team identifies the marketing copy and visual elements. Then the graphic designer utilizes the graphic design principles – alignment, hierarchy, contrast, repetition, proximity, balance, color, and space — to design the ad.
The implementation of the creative banner ad is an iterative process. It also includes testing and analysis to determine the ad’s overall effectiveness. A/B testing of the ad’s performance will inform the marketing and design team if tweaking of the ad is required or if the ad meets its conversion goals.
Other factors worth mentioning behind a creative web banner design include relevancy and recognition. Part of the marketing and design research should address how to establish relevancy to the target audience. The website banner ad should instill brand recognition as well. Establishing brand recognition starts by defining the timeline of the brand campaign. It ends with identifying the channels to market the campaign. Brand recognition efforts and relevancy require constant review throughout the life of the campaign.
Examples of Successful, Creative Web Banner Designs
This web banner ad won gold place in the 2018 American Advertising Awards. It was created by Garrison Hughes for the Scope International Contemporary Art Show. This ad grabs attention by visually representing a typewriter gun in the form of a weapon. The company uses timely copywriting that mimics the discussion around a highly-contentious issue in today’s political spheres to grab the website user’s attention.
Vattenhall’s, an energy company based in Europe, website banner ad utilizes application programming interfaces (APIs) to adapt the ad’s image based on the landing page’s content. It relies on an API to determine which version of the banner ad to present that best identifies with the user’s intent. It’s a brilliant way to connect to the website viewer and deliver relevancy to the user’s search.
Another winner in the American Advertising Awards is BRUNNER’s banner ad. Its integrated ad campaign reflects the bonding experience of storytelling around a campfire with an inviting call to action, “the story begins at Journey84.com.”
Oakley created a series of web banner ads for its advertising campaign that elicits feelings of adrenaline, athleticism, and adventure with the tagline One Obsession and the hashtag #CantStop. This advertising campaign is targeted to users with an active outdoor lifestyle who rely on shades to protect their eyes from the sun. Its strategy included capturing the pathos of the targeted audience to drive conversion of its sunglasses products.