Socializing Advertising

    January 24, 2009
    Chris Crum

In these uncertain economic times, advertisers need to make their ads count if they don’t want to throw away precious dollars on ineffective Internet advertising. Online advertising is still a great way to market your business, as it is highly targeted, and can provide both an unparalleled branding appeal and instant conversion (depending on the nature of the ad). But effective ads must be engaging. They must give a viewer a reason to care. That is a large part of the battle.

Caring and Sharing

What if your ad was so engaging, a viewer wanted to share it with a friend? Sure, 9 ads out of 10 aren’t that engaging to most people, but that’s on your creative department. Let’s say for sake of argument, you have accomplished putting together a great ad that viewers actually enjoy. Why not give them an opportunity to easily pass it along.

Harry Gold with ClickZ has a great article suggesting the use of chiclets in your banner ads. Chiclets are the little social icons you often see attached to web content that let people share said content via social networks, bookmarking services, etc.


It’s simply adding a viral marketing touch to an otherwise stationary banner campaign. You’re giving your ad wheels. By adding these chiclets, you’re all of a sudden opening up your ads to all of the major social networks without spending an extra dime.

Blurring the Lines

The challenging part is coming up with an ad that is enticing enough for people to want to share. Gold notes that the lines between social media and online media are blurring, and he’s very right about that. Wouldn’t an effective ad blur the lines as well?

Take a look at this Pepsi ad discussed at ReelSEO. "Banner ads are now no longer just uni-directional, it would seem," says ReelSEO’s Christophor Rick. "A campaign being run by Pepsi called ‘Dear Mr. President’ is allowing people to record a video message straight from an embedded banner on a standard website. Empowering consumers to not only interact with the banner but actually create content and push it back to the advertiser, it’s perhaps one of the more innovative uses of online video advertising today."


Images from ReelSEO

Look at Burger King’s recent trading-friends-for-Whoppers campaign. It got shut down by Facebook for violating terms of service, but the creativity was there.

Whopper Sacrifice

Marketers need to look for ways to push the envelope with their campaigns if they want to stand out. And it is the ads that stand out that are the most successful. The social direction the web is going in caters to all kinds of possibilities. Shouldn’t you be considering giving your ads a social touch?