Little Victories of Game Banner Ads

What will we gain from placing a game in banner ads? What will a game banner deliver that a standard message won’t?

Before creating and delivering games in banner advertising through an online campaign, you must answer these questions. You should try game banners if:

  • Game banners are gifts to consumers. These are welcome interruptions, daydreams if you will, in an online routine. Consumers appreciate them and the advertisers behind them.

  • Game banners give consumers little victories and a sense of accomplishment. They evoke powerful consumer emotions and associate them with the advertiser’s brand.

To support this view, let’s look to laws of attraction and human nature.

Affable people make us feel good about ourselves. They instinctively know that the feelings they stir in us, about ourselves, will naturally be associated with them. They don’t sing their praises, they sing our praises and, by doing so, gain our admiration.

Consider this quote, in John C. Maxwell’s book, “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader,” attributed to a young woman who dined with 19th century British statesmen William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli:

    When asked her impression of them, she said, ‘When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting with Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.’ Disraeli possessed a quality that drew people to him and made them want to follow him.

Remember, brand loyalty is often a result of this principle being applied and delivered through the brand’s voice — ads.

Many times, the most effective ads seek to give consumers something. The marketer considers consumers’ interests, delivers a message that evokes emotion, and wraps the brand in the positive association. In effect, great advertising doesn’t ask what the ad will get from consumers. Rather, it asks what the ad can give to them.

Leveraging games in the advertising banner space is a very specific, practical application of this philosophy. Although it may seem trivial in the greater context, consumer empowerment to any degree is powerful. Consumer empowerment is more than allowing consumers to customize and personalize. It includes making them feel powerful.

A sense of accomplishment, success, and victory all yield very desirable emotions. To me, and many others, they are crucial to happiness and fulfillment. For example, travel site Orbitz identified these consumer needs, then made game banner ads to meet the needs. Then, to meet consumer demand, it built a site called Orbitz Games to house its game banner ads. Consumers wanted the ads readily available, not limited to chance encounters.

That’s powerful advertising.

Orbitz won me as a loyal customer. I can’t tell you if it offers better rates, better customer service, better user experience, or more secure transactions than its competitors. I just know that when I think to book travel, Orbitz’s top of mind.

Why? It gave me a gift that evoked an emotion. It gave me mindless entertainment in the form of game banners that I look forward to on the Web. Those banners are little surprises that interrupt research, reading, or similar Web activities I’m involved in. They give me little victories. They let me win. Sure, the victories are trivial and inconsequential to anything in my life. Never the less, in that moment, when I’m immersed in its game banners, I believe I’m the best to ever play those games and thankful for their existence. The brand took root, and I became loyal without being conscious of it.

Games deployed in the banner space are appreciated by consumers and can be incredibly effective. With appropriate themes, consideration of existing brand affinities, or the target audience’s goals, aspirations, and hobbies, they blur the lines between advertising and entertainment. They accomplish something a standard message usually doesn’t. They are admired and remembered.

Make a banner that lets consumers win, and you’ll win them.

Thanks for your mindshare.

–KC

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