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BANNER ADS GET SMARTER

Published on .

Since the launch of HotWired, AT&T has been one of the Web's leading advertisers, making a concerted effort to adapt quickly to advanced technologies. Here, Stephen Graham, site director for AT&T's corporate site, takes a look at how the marketer and its interactive agency, Modem Media, have evolved their banner ad strategy over the years.

October 1994

Corporate ad on HotWired

Located within the initial HotWired site, this was the first application of banner advertising on the Web. At the time of the HotWired launch, the intrigue in "have you ever clicked here" was very effective in attracting the user's attention. In fact, it was one of the most successful ads in HotWired.

October 1995

AT&T College Hot Quiz, for Consumer Small Business

The AT&T College Hot Quiz banner was one of the first to move into the upfront identification of both the sponsor and the content. Located on sites with a heavily skewed college audience, it not only effectively reached college students through its targeted placement, but the quiz concept worked well with an audience interested in proving its knowledge.

November 1995

TrueChoice Pager, for Consumer Small Business

"Virtual sampling" was truly a new concept, as it provided users with a new way to interact on the Web. With this banner, the offer to "Send a Message to the World" made the user aware that some level of interactivity could be expected. Taking the user to an AT&T virtual pager enabled them to send a message for the entire Web to see. The creative as well as a well-executed media plan resulted in hundreds of thousands of virtual messages.

January 1996

Resources for New Business, for Business Markets Division

Showing further evolution to a very direct approach, this banner clearly identified the target audience, the offer and the sponsor. Specifically targeting small-business owners and soon-to-be owners, its placement on sites that tend to attract entrepreneurial personalities such as Worth and Entrepreneur achieved this objective. Its use of direct language to convey AT&T services resonated well to the Internet user and underscored the information and research capabilities the Web provides.

June 1996

College, for Consumer Small Business

Using animation (both Java and gif89 depending on the site's capabilities) was the next evolution of the banner ad. The visual impact of seeing "unemployment lines" turn into "employment links" grabbed the user's attention. Targeting college students looking for job opportunities, placement was purchased on sites such as Internet University, Job Track and Tap Online. The combination of copy and technology made the user immediately recognize that a problem-solving resource was just a click away.

July 1996

Olympics Intermercial

The use of "intermercials" introduced an approach that truly engaged users with an interactive, brand-centered experience. For instance, a simple click on the banner launched a dialog box offering a choice of live video feeds from within the Global Olympic Village. Truly a mass-market campaign building off AT&T's sponsorship of the Olympic Games, a "roadblock" placement ensured the broadest possible exposure within a seven-day period, thus maximizing this short-term opportunity.

September 1996

Move Market, for Consumer Small Business

This banner was one of the first to use an interactive image map to drive users to different sites depending on their needs. By responding accurately to the self-selection process, users would receive offers tailored to their needs. Targeting consumers in the process of a move, media placement on sites such as Rent Net and Cyber Properties achieved effective audience segmentation.

September 1996

WorldNet Acquisition

An extension of the intermercial concept, the WorldNet acquisition banners are AT&T's next level of personalization and are currently running on the Web.

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