3 Examples of Great Banner Ads

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3 Examples of Great Banner Ads

Banner ads can be really good at driving targeted traffic to your website, but only if you know how to maximise their effectiveness.

The biggest challenge is, that this type of ad has been around for years now, and web users have subconsciously learned to ignore them. This is known as banner blindness.

Understanding how to make your banner ad stand out is the difference between seeing results and having your ad ignored altogether.

How to Avoid Banner Blindness

While banner ads can put your company's name in front of thousands of eyes every day, it can be challenging to make these views translate into real sales.

To get your target customer to click on your ad and follow through to your site, you have to deliver what they are looking for, in a way that is compelling enough to make them stop what they're doing and click on your ad.

Here are some quick tips for avoiding banner blindness:

Know Your Target Audience

If you don't know your target audience, you can't advertise to them. Period.

The majority of people who ignore banner ads do so because they are not interested in the content. When you know your target customer, you can create an ad that will speak directly to them and grab their attention.

If your ad is not tailored to your target customer, you are wasting both your time and your ad spend. For example, it makes no sense to target young families on a tight budget for a luxury private jet service, or to send advertisements for discount clothing to an affluent consumer.

You should conduct in-depth market research to understand your customer and create ads that are laser-focused on their needs.

Know Your Enemy

When you think of who your competitors are, you may be thinking about companies that sell the same products or offer the same services that your business does. In fact, you have far more competitors than you may realise.

Web users are bombarded with content each day, between emails, newsletters, social media posts, news stories and videos. This is in addition to other companies that are similar to yours who are marketing to them. All of these inputs are competing for your customer’s attention. To make your banner ad stand out, you must catch and hold their attention as quickly as possible.

Think about why your customer would stop reading a blog post or news article to click on your ad. This is the starting point to creating the most effective banner ad possible.

What Makes a Banner Ad Effective?

In order to create the most effective ad, it pays to understand why consumers click on some ads but not others.

You want to give them an offer they can't refuse. When you make your ad so compelling that they must stop what they're doing to follow up on it, you have created a simple way to increase both traffic to your site and profits for your business.

There are three main factors that make the best banner ads stand out.

Keeping it Simple and Clean

While it may be tempting to include as much information as possible in your ad, keeping it clean is essential.

  • Design your ad with a contrasting background and text, such as white text on a dark background.
  • Use large print and a compelling image.
  • Keep your message short so that your customer can take it in quickly without giving it too much thought.
  • Perhaps most importantly, get your ad to reflect your branding and company's purpose.

By keeping your ad clean and simple, you will make it stand out among all of the competing content on the Web.

Including a Call to Action

Sometimes you simply have to tell your customers what you want them to do.

As I said earlier, there is a lot of "noise" on the Internet, and multiple sources are competing with your ad for your customer's attention. It is not enough just to create a compelling ad.

A great ad might make your customer say, "Wow, that's interesting," then continue reading their blog or watching their video. Your ad has to make them say, "Wow, that's interesting, let me click on it."

The call to action is arguably the most valuable element in the ad. Add the words "Sign up now," or "See our offers," or "Book now," to tell your customer exactly what you want them to do.

This takes the work of decision-making out of their hands and makes it easier for them to take action.

Making the Transition Consistent

When your customers click through the ad to your web page, there should be no confusion about what information they are attempting to access.

If you have a photo of a dress in your banner ad, and your customer clicks through to buy it, they should be directed to that exact dress, not a different one.

Many companies use a "teaser" image to get people to click on the site, then direct them to more profitable, higher priced items. In some cases, the image from the banner ad does not even exist on the site. Don't do this.

If your customer cannot immediately find what they are looking for, they will surf away to another site, and become frustrated both with your website and your company.

Understanding Your Ad's Destination

You have complete control over your ad design, but you have less control over where your ad is placed. It is vital that you work with your advertising platform to ensure that your ads are positioned on the best possible sites.

If your ad is for mortgage loans, for example, it would be wasted if it were placed on a site geared toward college students. If you are selling custom piercings and your ad is put on a blog for retirees, they will likely ignore or block your ad.

When you work with your advertising platform, be sure to fill out all of the information that you have about your target customer. And monitor the sites where your ads are placed to make sure you are getting the best exposure possible.

Testing Your Ad's Effectiveness

Many advertisers create multiple versions of the same ad and use data from each to plan their design. They change the colour scheme, call to action and image to see which ads will sell best.

Conducting what is referred to as A/B testing is a way to understand what your customers are looking for and deliver it to them on a silver platter. Consider starting with an inexpensive ad buy to test a few ads, then choose the best one for your larger investment.

3 Examples of Banner Ads that Work

Some of the best banner ads are those that combine all of these elements into an ad that delivers results.

Volkswagen produced an ad that meets all of the criteria for great banner ads.

This square ad is clean, with short phrases and images that clearly describe the product. The catchy slogan, "_____ like a Rabbit," allows for the viewer to virtually fill in anything that their Rabbit can do.

The "submit" button and the "breed your own Rabbit" button is a play on words that allows you to click through to Volkswagen's site.

This ad grabs attention, it is interactive and directs you to a page which allows you to "build your own" Volkswagen. This is a banner ad that Volkswagen lovers will be likely to click on and follow through.

Princess Cruises is another company that gets it right with banner ads.

Cruise lovers often have an affinity for the water, which reminds them of the tranquility of an ocean cruise. This luxury cruise ad uses short phrases, a focal point and font that is consistent with Princess Cruise Line's branding.

Readers are encouraged to "Book Now" and are taken directly to the page where they can book the Japan cruise that is advertised in the banner ad.

Amazon's ad for wireless headsets is another example of banner ads that work.

The ad features photos of the product, clear Amazon branding and a link to buy the product. There is no block of text, no flashy graphics or any gimmicks. It is clean, straightforward and easy to click through to the product.

Amazon's branding is always consistent, and this banner ad is no exception. There is no doubt that this ad is placed on a site that is frequently visited by customers who would be likely to buy this headset.


Creating banner ads that work is vital to your ad campaign. Don't let your ad get lost in a sea of other information on the Web.

When you need to capture the attention of your target customer, creating a banner ad that they can't resist is key.

Use the right data and design your perfect ad today.

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