Taking the ‘Click’ out of Click-Through BannerAds

The next generation of advertising banners promises to eliminate the need for numerous clicks, not to mention the need for conversion pages or even a Web site.

To this end, a number of companies have announced “new and improved” banner ads, which they say will help improve performance, and as a result boost CPMs, because they require less work on the part of consumers.

The newest entrant in the banner wars was introduced by Cybuy, New York, which took the wraps off its Cybuy Banner this week. The company claims the new ads enable consumers to complete purchases in just three clicks.

Cybuy said the banners work with all online ads, including the newest banner sizes recently approved by the Internet Advertising Bureau. It claims that with its technology, marketers can manage all processes from order capture to credit card processing.

Meanwhile, Enginehouse Media, Troy, AL, an interactive advertising agency, in late March introduced an expandable banner it calls XBanner. The company said the new banner has the ability to securely pass and receive information from a remote data source and update banner content on the fly.

The company said its XBanner enables consumers to easily find and purchase items they are interested in without ever leaving the Web site they are on. This, the company claims, helps increase response rates.

“It’s no secret that banner ads are no longer very effective at driving traffic to Web sites and this has become a real problem for many of our direct response-focused clients,” said Laura Tidwell, CEO, Enginehouse Media.

Some of those clients include RealEstate.com, ClassMates.com and AdOctane, an online resource for media buyers.

AdOctane employed XBanners on its Web site in an effort to drive registrations of new advertisers to use its media buying services. The company said that within the first week it started using XBanners, its click-through rate was 2.5 percent and the conversion rate was 10 percent.

“The ads are very browser friendly and unlike other kinds of rich media, don’t require any plug-ins or special applications to view them,” Tidwell said.

Point.Roll Inc., Philadelphia, a provider of Web-based advertising delivery technology, offers banners that act similarly to those of Enginehouse Media. Point.Roll’s technology enables consumers to run their mice over banner ads to reveal mini-Web pages featuring the advertiser’s message. The company said its technology enables advertisers to simultaneously deliver multiple messages within any sized banner. The banners also can deliver rich media, text and graphics.

Jules Gardner, Point.Roll’s CEO and co-founder, said the company’s banners can deliver up to eight mini-Web pages.

“A lot of online advertising is held to a direct mail metric,” he said. “But a lot of the messages are not ‘act now’ offers. The advertising should drive people to the advertiser’s site.”

Point.Roll counts among its clients Merrill Lynch Direct, Gateway and Universal Studios.

In a recent campaign for Gateway, Point.Roll said it served more than 1 million impressions across Yahoo’s network of sites. Point.Roll developed two different creatives for the computer manufacturer, utilizing animated banners featuring Gateway’s “cowhide” PC shipping box. Each banner featured four “mouseover” tabs offering information about Gateway’s desktop and laptop computers. Three tabs brought up a page with Gateway’s computers and links for more information about them. The last tab offered links to Gateway’s retail stores and its resellers.

“The ad is not intrusive,” Gardner said. “With a simple mouseover, advertisers have the ability to bring their message to the user without requiring them to leave the Web page they are on. When the mouse is not on the ad, you have a regular banner.”

Gateway said its campaign using Point.Roll’s banners served more than 1.1 million impressions and that the banners delivered their message to 14.6 percent of the people who saw them. The company noted that users spent a total of 7.8 seconds viewing each panel in the banners.

The company said Point.Roll’s banners delivered 224 percent more click throughs than traditional banners, with a 0.2 percent click-through rate for the initial Point.Roll banner and a 0.13 percent rate for the average panel contained within.

Gardner also said Point.Roll can offer “near” real-time tracking of its banner ads. Some of the advertisers working with the company’s technology can command CPMs of up to $5, he said.

“Each of our mini-panels are a conversion opportunity,” Gardner said. “It’s an awareness vehicle.”

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