Riding Coattails is Clever

Fact 1: 100 million people watched the super bowl this year.

Fact 2: The shark to the left of Katy Perry made a great impression on popular culture.

Fact 3: Revzilla.com knows online shoppers have an attention span of 5 seconds, tops.

Fact 4: The one thing revzilla.com wants new site visitors to know is that they offer free shipping over $39.99, guarantee lowest prices, and have excellent customer service.

Combine Facts 1, 2, 3 and 4 and you get this—


Nearly every visitor to revzilla.com homepage will notice the shark graphic, and by association, the assurance message next to it.  And that’s the whole point.

Only thing I don’t like: Combining shark message with President’s Day sale message might be a mistake.

Put The M Back In Your Morning

I recently spotted these McDonald’s outdoor advertisements-

Put The M Back In Your Morning
Put The M Back In Your Morning
Put The M Back In Your Morning

I want to discuss this campaign from a neurological perspective.  Most people dislike advertising.  As a result moment the brain realizes a stimulus is a promotion it places it in the ignore bucket.  This process happens incredibly fast, subconsciously.  Most of us aren’t even aware we’re ignoring hundreds of ads a day.  But these Mickey D’s ads are different.  The copy has a missing “m” and in order to ignore the ad one has to first reconstruct the copy with with the m in place.  The riddle is easy enough where everyone can solve it but hard enough that it cannot be completed by the subconscious mind.  The reader has to actively, deliberately solve the riddle.  This active engagement is what makes the ad register.  Does it mean that thousands of people will suddenly walk into a McDonald’s franchise?  No.  Does it mean that when someone in McDonald’s target audience is irrationally considering breakfast choices McDonald’s will flash on the first half the list?  Most likely.

Why am I covering this incredibly unrelated topic on my blog?  Because it isn’t unrelated.  If you use banner promotions on your site or banner advertising on affiliate networks you could learn from McDonald’s.

Click = Bounce

I saw this very clever banner ad today:

It was well designed and from a retailer I recognized.  Normally, I’m not a sucker for online advertising but this “tabbed” day look grabbed my attention and the fact that the day was cleverly set to Wednesday when today is Wednesday really intrigued me (relevance!!).  The ad had achieved all it was responsible for.  I couldn’t resist moving my mouse to see what Banana Republic suggested for other days.  But the moment I clicked I realized I’d been deceived– this ad was just one solid image.  So I immediately closed the pop-up window without letting it load fully.

This blog post is a rant by some anonymous blogger with no knowledge about consumer marketing or access to numbers behind the campaign.  Should Banana Republic just take my opinion?  Absolutely not.

This is where analytics comes in.  All Banana Republic needs to do is measure landing page bounce.  If bounce is ridiculously high they can make one of two changes to the creative:

Simple change:  Insert text that says “Click to see other day looks”.  This ad is already quite good and I really do want to see other day looks, just don’t want to be surprised.

Complicated change:  Make the ad interactive so viewers can engage passively before visiting the landing page.