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Online Advertising: Clever Branding 

Added: 01/20/2006, Hits: 3,490, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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It can be tough making a living if you rely on online advertising for your revenue, however, as my wife (our marketeer) has predicted, online advertising should begin to focus more on branding than on clickthroughs and performance as time goes on.

When a person watches an ad on television or listens to one on the radio, the advertiser will not be able to track the effectiveness of the ad in most cases. They certainly won't be able to track it in real time like online advertisers can. Most online advertisers are currently concerned with one thing - measuring results, whether it be clickthroughs, sales, leads, etc. This has made the online advertising world a difficult, competitive, and even fraudulent place for advertisers to get their message out.

But maybe it is time to remember the basics taught in marketing 101 and try to recall the concept of branding. Exposing people to a product, company, or brand may not have the immediate measurable results that online advertising does, but it is a more sophisticated, long-term approach to advertising that we should see more of on the internet.

The reason for this article is that I happened to stumble across a couple of examples of branding in action recently and though they were not only clever, but clearly a bright spot for web publishers.

The first example comes from an online games web site, They have included the Wendy's fast food logo on their site's background. Not only is this clearly done for branding reasons as the ad is not clickable, it is also the first time I have seen a background used in this manner. Check out the image at the top of this page to view the ad.

The second example I discovered in an article on CNN about a web site that was hacked. That story is no longer available on their site, but you can read about it here. This kid made a million dollars in 4 months on a 1 page web site that contains nothing but advertisements. Visitors didn't go to this site to click on a bunch of ads, they went because it was a phenomenon. There are thousands of ads on this page and clickthroughs are probably negligable. The ads, particularly the larger ones, were probably purchased with branding in mind.

For companies like ours that rely on advertising revenue, these are encouraging signs. If advertisers begin to realize the long-term benefits of branding, it will make it easier for publishers to sell ads - It will allow them to focus more on getting visitors to see ads than clicking on them which would be a welcome relief.

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