Monday, April 25, 2005

When the page has something to teach

A new study by Starch and CNET Networks about effective online ads has found that they work best when they most resemble good print advertising. The study is based on surveys of participants in the CNet Network sites and, largely made up of young male gamers, so it doesn't necessarily represent the views of the general internet user. Participants were asked to view several ads on a mock site and rate them. Joe Gillespie, the Chief Marketing Officer of CNET said the purpose of the study was to steer advertisers away from posting annoying ads that not only cheesed off the viewers but could acutally drive them away from the site altogether.

"Bad advertising really hurts our business. It hurts our user experience, and that's never really been the case before," said Gillespie. "On TV you can run bad ads and, frankly, nobody knows. In our world, if we're running ads that are irrelevant or intrusive, people show up and tell us about it, or just vote with their feet and don't show up at all."

Good print advertising combines the use of powerful images to quickly draw in viewers and direct their attention towards the central mesage, the study found.

Simple design and powerful images that direct a reader with visual flow. Who'd a thunk it?


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