Banner Ads that Work

Many digital marketers and industry observers are keen to predict the impending demise of the online banner ad. This is particularly true for consumer-oriented websites that deliver hundreds of thousands if not millions of impressions and steadily dropping click-through rates.

But banner ads clearly still offer value to marketers. “Investing in great creative in the right places when your objectives are more brand building than direct response is worth it and makes more of an impact,” said Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction. “People do see ads, and they are interacting with them, and they are impacted by them when they’re done right.”

In a B2B world like agriculture or floriculture, media websites represent one of the best vehicles for reach a broad audience of targeted, high-value prospective customers. But, as Kleinberg alluded to, simply running a banner ad on a B2B website like or will not guarantee success, however. Creative matters, and this is illustrated by the fact that the top-performing leaderboard ad on in 2012 generated a 1.34% click-through rate while different creative in the same spot yielded just a 0.1% click-through rate.

The folks at Digiday recently featured five inspirational examples of creative that worked in online banner ads (Click here to see them, but please note that the last one is a European ad that wades into mature subject matter.) Producing some of these may require budgets beyond what you have at your disposal, but hopefully perusing these winning ads will help you take your next banners to the next level.

The author is Meister Media’s Director of Interactive Sales. He can be reached at 440-602-9129 or via email at