Display Advertising Shows Signs of Life

I always like to capture ideas and campaigns here that really catch my eye and provide inspiration.  Here are two banner ads that challenge the notion that this industry has nothing left in it.  They show that the right mix of creativity, humor and humility for the knowledge an end-user has about the space can create a vibrant ad.  Most importantly: they engage better than, well any other banner ad I’ve seen.  I’d imagine, like me, anyone in the interactive marketing industry would look at both these and say, “I wish I’d thought of that.”


First up is an ad from Pringles. I couldn’t click just once. (OK, I know that’s a headnod to the Lay’s campaign, but it’s for potato chips too).  I heard about it via AdFreak – key quote:

I appreciate that it isn’t flashing horrible circus colors and promising me a free Xbox or a spyware-laden “virus scan.”

It’s actually quite funny, and no surprise it recently won awards.  The one here is embedded – you can click right here and no I don’t get any referrals for your clicks.


The second ad was covered in Adweek’s TweetFreak a couple weeks ago.  This ad for Volkswagen integrates Twitter directly in the ad, scanning recent tweets for terms used and then recommending a car that is right for you.  This one is not embedded – click through to a page where you can put in a Twitter ID to see the results.

Volkwagen Twitter Ad

Of course I like the idea of integrating Twitter in a creative way – it’s trailblazing with new platforms and technologies – but I would be curious to see some of the metrics around both of these campaigns.  Any others that strike you as compelling or inspirational?

Bonus: An Offline Ad Can Inspire Too

Proving that technology, location and creativity can create a compelling mix, here’s another Cannes Lion award winner that could inspire loads of guerilla marketing ideas – imagine what Times Square could be like in New York City if all of the ads responded to what happened in front of them.  Hat tip to copyranter and @dschutzsmith for sharing.


UPDATE: For a lot more insight on the Pringles ad (not to mention some very useful resources on Pharma and social media) directly from the source agency that created the ad, see the post “What Pharma Can Learn from Pringles” from Jonathan Richman.

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10 Business Development Tips from the Master of the Obvious

usedcarsalesChances are you’ve been part of a sales pitch – a meeting to demonstrate your product or capabilities with a potential buyer.  In my career I’ve been involved in many – both as the discussion leader, as I would prefer to call it, and as the audience.  Several months ago I was part of a call with a social media technology vendor that went badly.  Very badly.  I captured my thoughts on Twitter at the time, and a recent similar experience caused me to go dig these up.  Due to karma, Murphy’s Law and several other corollaries my next presentation is likely to flop, but I still thought this was worth capturing.  All of these measures actually happened in one meeting.

Ten Business Development Tips from the Master of the Obvious

1. Don’t focus on previous clients that barely used your services many years ago. Lead with the best examples and case studies.

2. If you’re new to the company and the one delivering the presentation, don’t play the “I’m new” card every other sentence.

3. If you have multiple product or service offerings, don’t open with the ancillary ones – focus on the meat first, especially if it is the foundation for the others.

4. If you are a software vendor and include screen shots, don’t put in ones that are blurry. A live demo is usually better anyways even though it can be more challenging to arrange.

5. If you are a software vendor don’t ever say the phrase:  “I’m not sure what this does.”

6. Here’s another phrase to avoid:  “We haven’t found a client who likes this yet.”

7. When you share a recent example of client work, don’t start with what went wrong on the project.

8. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you.” It’s way better than making up an answer and the follow-up opportunity allows another contact or inquiry.  I’d rather hear a confident “I don’t know” with a follow-up than a wishy-washy explanation.

9. When sharing who your business partners are, don’t start listing partners you are no longer partnering with. (Wow)

10. When you schedule a software demo (aside from screenshots mentioned in #4) have someone available who knows the product.  Either be that person or have an engineer on the call.

Thanks for listening to me vent – we all learn lessons the hard way sometimes.  Any other tips the Master of the Obvious would be proud of?

Photo credit: bonkedproducer via Flickr

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