Sunday, 20 September 2009

Banner feedback on Amazon

I might be slow for never having noticed, or perhaps it just proves the extent to which I generally ignore the usual online display advertising, but Amazon offers users the possibility to give feedback about the ads served on the site:

I was browsing for a few books, notably Leila Johnston's Enemy of Chaos (Leila talked about the book and read a passage of it at Interesting last week and it sounds excellent and hilarious) which is where I saw this HSBC ad.

A really simple and pretty boring flash animation in a rectangle MPU, just like countless other online ads.

Too many people still don't get that:

1. Taking a poster and turning it into an animated online display simply doesn't work. When the advertising industry started making ads on TV, they started shooting video for them. I doubt anybody thought broadcasting radio ads on TV would be a good idea. Same difference.

2. Online display advertising can be great if thought through, it really depends of the objectives of the activity. It can be as seemingly simple such as this Pringles ad that won several awards, or pretty extravagant like this Burger King ad (And it rarely happens but I saw this one and played through the game while browsing on The Onion, as opposed to seeing it on Bannerblog for example). They are rare occurrences, but these two examples are brilliant, fun, quirky, entertaining and memorable - all advertising should have at least some of those qualities.

So what does this mean? I like Amazon, have shopped with Amazon for years and will continue to do so. I'm really glad they care enough about their customers to ask their opinion about the ads served on their site when I'm visiting. They probably won't be able to do that much to improve the quality of the banner ads appearing there, but being able to send my feedback about the ad really made a difference to my shopping experience.

Result: I like Amazon even more and I'm even writing a whole post here about it. All of that because of a little 'Ad feedback' link.

But wait, who was advertising again? Oh yeah, HSBC. Could have been anyone. I didn't even get if the ad was specifically promoting something, but I assumed they would like me to open an account with them.

Well, as for a lot other banner ads out there, I would say this one was money wasted. And I'm not sure I want to entrust my money to a bank that's wasting theirs...

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