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This is an issue… and not an easy one. I mean it looks quite simple, but if you want to find whose fault is that, it’s not an easy thing.

Check this banner, and count how many animation loops you need to be able to read the message:

 

 

It took three times for me to get the message coming through. In 18 seconds – this is the length of the video – the animation runs 3 times which means that the animation length of the banner is 6 seconds.

The issue is serious because:

  • There are many very skilled flash designers who develops anything you want. The problem is that they rarely know anything about adservers or marketing – so without directions or supervision they may create a colorful, very beautiful and completely useless banner.
  • There is a difference between online accounts and classic ones. Former one might miss marketing background but may know better what clicktag or filesize conditions are, while a classic account are more agile to notice spelling grammars or – like in our case – that she cannot read the message.
  • My experience shows that advertisers still pay less attention on online creative executions if there is an integrated campaign. That’s because they have less online experiences plus many times online creatives are adaptions of the offline creative so it should not be a big deal.

Anyhow, if you feel lost, or are unsure, take an old hand’s advice. For this issue, I have one I inherited from an old stager: To check the length of the appearance of any texts in animations, read it loud with normal speed. If you can read it, that’ll do.

If you expect explanations here, or arguments for utilizing gif banners, you will be disappointed. I don’t have any. Cheery content!

Why I raised this topic is that a professional player, who has been acting on this market for ages now placed an animated gif banner onto the most visited social networking portal two days ago. You can find such banners on small portals from advertisers that just began advertising online, but it is really strange from someone like them. So while I show you the banner here below, I also try to figure out what happened with them?!

 

[Click on the banner to see the animation]

 

My scenarios are:

1. The advertiser prepared flash and back-up gif banners, but they uploaded only the gif banner into the adserver by mistake.

2. They paid an animator to create a nice cartoon banner, but due to the economic crisis, they cut the budget meanwhile, therefore it couldn’t be finished, but as they invested they put it live.

3. They just came back from an american marketing course for small businesses and learned the newest trends of online marketing.

4. They are targeting to IT guys who eat pizzas, drink cola, check photos of colleagues on iWiW and block flash content.

As there are more promotions with online focus, we can see more and more banners with prize or other brand’s messages. In addition, I have experienced that advertisers make wrong decisions by emphasizing too much the prizes (or other brands) while the audience may not even realize who is the real advertiser.

We can clearly state there is one user out of a thousand who clicks on the banner and can see for themselves the organizer of the promotion or – I put it this way – the company who pays for the appearances.

I know it is a though question how much branding a promotional banner should have. But do you really think an iPhone, a MINI, a Nintendo Wii or your other trendy prize is all your banner may talk about?! Anyone?

Some examples:

 

 

I really wonder what is the point of the Intel logo throughout the whole animation while it turns out only at the end that it is a Toshiba banner. (I love the nerd concept though)

Another banner with brands and products, highlighting services and a very small branding at the end:

 

 

Most of the time, promotion is a one-off thing. However, the promotion organizers may learn from the mobile SPs as no matter which phone or service they advertise, the branding is always there very consciously. Look out the newest Vodafone banner, the red cube with white body makes it easily identifiable:

 

 

Once again, what I am challenging is whether advertisers may afford not to differentiate their promotion by their own branding.

Because Vodafone Hungary did. Professional work, by the way. One thing you should know about layers: It is always a challenge – ok these days it’s just getting better – placing a layer properly on a site that contains other embed – or flash content running. For some online media it is still an impossible question. Anyway, see how smoothly it runs on Vodafone Hungary’s own portal:

 


watching in full size is recommended

 

  • the dimensions of the flash are optimized for wide screens (that have lower heights) too
  • links work beneath the flash animation
  • the superbanner flash zone works together with the animation
  • the animation works properly under IE and Firefox too
  • the file size of the overlay is 62kb which is relatively small – runs weaker PCs too without problems.

This is a good example of banner combination and an overlay too. Well done!