WHERE TO FIND IT: MSN Gaming Zone (http://zone.msn.com/)
CRITIQUE: Media placement can be so much fun. Every now and then in a print publication, an ad is juxtaposed with a story in a way that creates a fun little package, often to the chagrin of the marketer.
The odds of this happening only improve online, where multiple advertisers tend to cycle through a page. The results can be memorable. Who can forget the Toyota ad that ran under a story on MSNBC.com about Princess Diana's wrecked car?
So we smiled at an Intel ad running on the Microsoft Network's videogame site. The ad does an effective job of tying the use of Intel's Pentium III chips to a better Internet surfing experience. The ad shows a low-fi dancing guy, as he "raises the roof."
But Intel needed a way to represent the Internet graphically. In a smart move, it chose the buttons from a Web browser: simple, universal, pictographs. From the Netscape browser-not Internet Explorer.
This makes several statements at once. One of them is just how strongly-still-Netscape and the Internet are related in people's minds. Another is that marketers and agencies can't forget about the lessons from 100 years of offline advertising knowledge: Everything in an ad makes a statement, whether you want it to or not. So pay attention to the details and sweat the small stuff.
Then watch where you place those banners.