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Where Do Online Ad Banners Actually Work?

coors-plane.jpgOver at the always enlightening Adotas, there's a nice rundown by Zephrin Lasker of what online marketing methods, you know, actually work by providing a return on investment. While ultimately recommending online primarily be used for lead generation, along the way he takes the time to stick it in the ribs of the formerly loved banner ad:

Take the poster child of online advertisingâ€" the banner ad. Over the last few years, click-through rates on banners have dropped from 0.50% to plumb the depths of the 0.05% - 0.10% range. Even if one factors in the so called "view-through" conversions, it is clear that this method is ridiculously cost inefficient.

It's no wonder that so many advertisers find traditional banner-landing page campaigns to be wasteful.

Catherine Taylor, writer of ad blog Adverganza and also the penner of Social Media Insider for MediaPost, offers up an idea about where ad banners could actually be useful -- in carefully maintained boutique social networks, like's "Rate My Space."
If you go to the site, what you'll find is a warm and fuzzy experience, imbued with what could be termed an "up-with-granite-countertops-and-stainless-steel-appliances" vibe. Comments tend to be on the congratulatory side, like this one, "Let's see how many adjectives I can give this space. Warm, inviting, elegant, lovely, charming--.and on and on--5 stars from me!"

Obviously, in this kind of community, snarkiness isn't an objective, the way it seems to be in many socially networked parts of the online world. This makes it a safe haven for advertisers who might otherwise stay away from social networking. The list of potential advertisers is both broad and deep. Recently, I've seen banners and buttons from behemoths such as Wal-Mart to much more niche advertisers like QuiKrete Concrete Mix.

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