Jim Nichols, Catalyst S+F
What's annoying: Crammed and ill-placed banner ads
Culprits: World of Warcraft and Toyota
Being the worst campaign online is more about the media than the creative. Because, let's face it, bad creative is pretty darn common online.
But bad media -- I've seen World of Warcraft ads on BabyCenter, for chrissakes. The contrary among you will say that "lots of moms, blah, blah, blah..." However, BabyCenter cannot possibly the best place for Warcraft to be. Of course, it was part of a network tonnage buy. But, maybe, the tiniest skosh of targeting would make that tonnage a bit more effective.
From a creative standpoint, I think the worst stuff fails to recognize that we, as consumers, are not ardently studying marketer messages. We are far more likely to see a banner for a split second than to stop what we are doing to study a banner.
So banners with
that go by
in several panels
of Flash animation
assume I am going
to stop and read
all that text.
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The other kind of big creative fail is when a brand crams so many messages into a banner that the ad itself becomes invisible. I love Toyota's technology campaign, but I think few would put this particular unit in the "win" column:
Wow, that's a lot to read -- as if anyone bothers. And there's nothing quite like a recessive call to action to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Jim Nichols is senior partner of Catalyst S+F.