An interesting local article :
Banner ads prove effective
By Kirsty Needham, biz.com editor
A major survey of 15,000 Australian Internet users and 72 Web sites has reached the surprising conclusion that people actually look at the banner ads that flick across the top of their computer screens - sometimes. And even if they rarely click on the ad, it can sometimes prompt them to buy.
The first study on the effectiveness of the beleaguered banner ad was undertaken by American advertising expert Mr Rex Briggs for ACNielsen.consult.
Mr Briggs's probe took place in a climate of depressed online advertising revenues caused partly by marketer fears that because no-one was clicking on their ads they were a waste of money.
Four years ago the banner was heralded as the future of advertising, offering marketers the potential to target their message using Web site smarts to identify individual Internet users. The reality fell far short. For every 1,000 times an ad appears, an Internet user will click once.
Researchers are predicting online advertising revenues will reach $80 million in Australia this year, but ACNielsen.consult analyst Mr Ramin Marzbani says "it will take a lot of work" for revenues to match last year's total.
Instead of measuring click-through, the AC Nielsen report looks at the branding impact of the banner. Based on the scenario that $30 will buy 1,000 Web pages, it found this outlay buys a marketer 18 more people who will "definitely" or "probably" buy a product, and 52 more people aware of the brand. Mr Marzbani says this is good. But the effectiveness varied.
The best performing banner in the report was a Bushells campaign to promote its participation in the "driver reviver" road safety program. For the $30 spent, 33 people said they would buy the tea. Among the worst, a cartoon of a dog humping a leg. Demonstrating another finding - that Internet users like to see a logo - the dog's popularity improved when the ad was altered by the researchers to show a Dingo Blue slogan.
Australia's most popular Web site, Ninemsn, was quick to respond to the survey results. "This is a breakthrough piece of research that clearly confronts the misconceptions and doubts surrounding the value and effectiveness of online advertising," said chief executive Mr Steve Vamos.
On a related front, USA today has an article on the proliferation of pop-up ads:
I'll have to look into that method for stopping the x-10 pop-up.