Oct 22 2009

Six Creative Solutions in Online Advertising

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By Mike Takahashi

Recently, there have been a lot of creative ideas and uses of online ads that have been pushing the traditional medium. Takeover ads, where ads takeover the entire site design have become more common. Apple has taken banner ads into a new dimension by creating ads that appear to interact within the design of a site. While others have been able to leverage platforms such as YouTube and Twitter to create an interactive experience. Here are some creative and unique trends that have been showing up in advertising online.

Screenshot of Wario

1. Interactive Ads

Samsung

Follow Your INSTINCT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoOCiaxIZF4

Screenshot of Follow Your Instinct Video

To promote their new phone Instinct, Samsung created an interactive online video campaign on YouTube called “Follow Your Instinct.” Using YouTube’s annotations feature, which allows clickable links embedded in the video to other videos, users can follow multiple story lines by choosing where to go next. At the end of each short clip you are presented with two choices. For example: 1) Follow you Instinct or 2) Go to your desk

TurboTax

http://look.daileyads.com/omma_submissions/twitteralpha/

Screenshot of Follow Your Instinct Video

TurboTax created a live Twitter banner ad that showed the five most recent tweets featuring responses to consumer questions and comments on taxes, product use and feedback.

2. Synched Banner Ads

By now you’ve probably seen one of the many creative and witty Apple ads featured on sites such as CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and Pitchfork. By breaking the traditional mold of static banner ads and utilizing synched ads, an interactive experience is created using elements within a site’s layout to grab the users attention.

Apple

Appeared in the Wall Street Journal

Appeared in the New York Times

3. Takeover Ads

Takeover ads takeover a sites existing layout, changing the normal flow and convention of what the user is normally accustomed to seeing.

Nintendo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSU-z-t9Ku4

Screenshot of Wario
Image source

To promote their new game Wario, Nintendo created what at first appeared to be a standard YouTube page showing a video of the game being played. However, as the video progresses, elements within the design of the page start to interact with the game. The entire screen shakes, items begin to fall down, YouTube’s navigation starts to crumble, and the page eventually becomes unrecognizable.

Apple

To show the features of the iPod Touch, Apple was able to create an interactive experience that interacted with Pitchfork’s design. This has also appeared on sites such as ESPN.

Madden NFL 10

To promote the game Madden NFL 10, YouTube’s home page was taken over by an ad that interacts with elements the home page as football players break outside the ad space and into the design of the site.

Star Trek

http://avatarclient.com/extranet/awards/2009/startrek/mtvtakeover/index.html

Screenshot of Star Trek

For the release of the new Star Trek movie, MTV’s home page was taken over to give the effect that the site’s content was being sucked into the warp of the Enterprise as it zoomed into the page toward the viewers.

Quiksilver

http://skate.quiksilver.com/thespot

Screenshot of Quiksilver

As the video begins to play, the skaters start to jump outside the video and become part of the website, interacting with elements of the design by skating and doing tricks on the photos, video player, etc.

4. After Click Ad

After click ads expand and interact with the design of the page only when a user had clicked on it.

Braquo

Braquo is a crime TV series in France.

BMW Korea

5. Social Media

Traditional advertising has been able to successfully incorporate and leverage social media to create interactive experiences that can only be done online. Designers have been able to leverage the concepts and ideas of sites like Twitter to create an interactive experience with users that allow them to engage with the audience.

Jack Johnson

Twitter Promotion for Live Album
http://twitter.jackjohnsonmusic.com

Screenshot of Jack Johnson

A simple, yet effective concept that was done using Twitter to promote Jack Johnson’s live album En Concert. It allows you to Tweet up to 24 characters while the other 116 characters are reserved to retweet the message. Once it is sent, a link is given to download a free mp3 from the album.

I Wear Your Shirt

http://iwearyourshirt.com

Screenshot of I Wear Your Shirt

Jason has been able to take online ads in a unique direction by leveraging the social context of his every day life. He has sponsors pay him to wear their shirt for an entire day, taking pictures and then blogging about his interactions and experiences with people on his site. Days are sold at “face value,” so January 1 is $1 and December 31 is $365. It’s become quite popular, with 2009 already sold out, and 2010 quickly filling up. He’s also added a second person in a different time zone to help out in 2010.

Red Bull

http://www.facebook.com/redbull?v=app_123793864961

Screenshot of Red Bull Stash

Brands are incorporating interactive experiences with consumers on the web in more ways than ever. Red Bull has taken the scavenger hunt concept one step further by teaming up with Facebook to incorporate a virtual scavenger hunt across the United States. Using the website, you type in your zip code to find the locations of places where cans of Red Bull are hidden. The general locations are shown via Google Maps with clues on where to find the exact spot. Once found, you "claim the stash." Users can make comments on each individual location and upload photos of their stashes through Facebook.

6. Something Unique

The Million Dollar Homepage

http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com

Screenshot of Million Dollar Homepage

Not really a trend, but worth mentioning since it was something truly creative and completely different at the time. Conceived in 2005 by Alex Tew, a college student who needed to raise money for his tuition, he came up with an idea to try and make $1 million by selling 1,000,000 pixels for $1 each on a single web page. He ended up selling every single pixel making $1 million with several imitators copying his idea.

Closing Thoughts

The creativity in the ads shown have engaged the audience with something new and different. They break the traditional online advertising medium by creating new experiences that people have yet to become fully accustomed to. But how long will these trends continue to attract audiences before the novelty wears away and people start to ignore them? Banner blindness is already a known problem. It’s probably only a matter of time before some of these ideas take on the same fate.

About the Author

Mike Takahashi is the Web Strategies Manager for Communications and Public Outreach at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). He is passionate about every aspect of design and how technology can help influence our lives in meaningful ways. You can follow him on his blog at TAKA DESIGNS.

About the Author

Comments and Discussions
  • Francisco Palacio Jr, 22 October 2009

    Six realy Creative Solutions in Online Advertising.
    Great post.
    Thanks

  • Maicon, 22 October 2009

    Really good examples. Thanks for share.

  • joyoge bookmark, 22 October 2009

    great post, thanks for resources..

  • Paul, 22 October 2009

    Cool actions, Nintendo already knew the Youtube. But the others are not bad either.

  • theComplex, 22 October 2009

    Great post, I can’t wait to share.

  • Jason Sadler, 22 October 2009

    SWEEET! Thanks for including me… is this post up on Digg yet?

    • Mike, 22 October 2009

      Not yet. Go for it!

  • Dario Gutierrez, 22 October 2009

    Amazing, I like the i wear your shirt idea. Very cool.

  • Zohaib, 22 October 2009

    the first youtube image is also creative like this article

  • stili.st, 22 October 2009

    very nice, thank you!

  • designfollow, 22 October 2009

    thanks for thes Great post.

  • JasonG01, 22 October 2009

    Great post, but this is the wrong direction.

    The other day I was trying to read a New York Times pieces online. A big Delta ad ‘creatively’ exploded out of the page the covered up the first 6 lines of the story. It didn’t have a ‘close’ button, and took a good 20 seconds to move out of my way on its own.

    I have no idea what Delta’s message was, all I remember was it kept me from reading the content I came to the site for.

    It’s true that online ads tend to be flat, and we need to innovate. However, I think it’s important for us to realize the difference between engaging readers and aggravating them.

    We do have a few guides as far as how we can make this happen. Magazine readers think those ads are fairly credible. In fact, they actively pay attention to them without having animation or harming the user experience. The question is, why? And how can we recreate that effect on the web?

    • Searching the next Icon, 25 November 2010

      100% with you Jason. Not only that the reading/navigating experience get’s messy. It should be the message that get to the client right? But now, nowdays marketers are ‘selling’ the experience (even if it’s negative?)

      Hopefully, in short period of time, we’ll publish a report with ‘creative online ads’ from various countries.

  • esranull, 22 October 2009

    good articles

  • Graham, 22 October 2009

    This was really interesting!
    Nice out of the box examples – thanks for sharing these.

  • Daniel Winnard, 23 October 2009

    What a great post, never even seen some of these before! How out of touch am I?

  • Ahmed, 23 October 2009

    Good article good work buddy

  • Josh M, 23 October 2009

    I’m just wandering whether you guys can provide me some of the simple and more complex ways of measuing website advertisements. I’m carrying out some study into this for my course.

  • Mark Carter, 24 October 2009

    It’s quite interesting the extent to which people can ‘filter out’ ads …. almost literally not see parts of a web page which they sense are ads, and therefore the extent advertisers go to to try to combat this. I guess I’m a little like a fellow commenter above – I don’t like my reading experience interrupted too much – I prefer to control what I see and when .. that’s the power of the internet … but hey!

  • Inspiration, 25 October 2009

    some of them are really inspirational.. ;]

  • June Petereson, 26 October 2009

    Fun ads, that do not have the annoyance factor (at least not yet) of a lot of web advertising.

  • SlowX, 26 October 2009

    Which came first:
    http://girl.inyourshirt.tv/
    or
    http://iwearyourshirt.com

  • assistencia samsung, 04 April 2010

    good article, i will add my feeds.

  • WPClubs, 26 August 2010

    i really like the work of BMW Korea, inspiring!

  • Glass Coffee Table ·, 04 November 2010

    online advertising is very efficient specially if you advertise your products on the PPC model ‘

  • Lynette Ketchem, 05 November 2010

    Amazing! Image hunting yahoo and google for hours due to this and i finally thought it was listed here!

  • Maria Howard, 02 December 2010

    you can see that there is a massive growth in online advertising these days, google paved the way on ppc `–

  • Jason Raya, 30 April 2011

    Wow, what an interesting idea selling by the pixel, by the day.

  • Cosmin, 26 December 2011

    Great article and very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

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