Web 2.0 innovation is working its way to banner advertising. This TechCrunch post about Tailgate focuses on transactional banner ads: Purchasing products through banners, and discussing the security issues this company is attempting to solve. The potential is clear; however, will users accept this form of information sharing? We are skeptical that large advertisers would take the initial plunge. This needs early adopters: acquisition-focused marketers looking for registrations, emails, and other non-transactional, yet secure, conversions. It could be a fantastic way to grow online communities.
Certainly this idea is something to build on. For more on that debate, be sure to visit the comments on the TechCrunch posting. Some interesting perspectives there.
We’ve also been tracking Google Gadget ads, a similar idea that allows you to create a tabbed experience within the banner ad itself. Gadgets ads are an interesting way to increase user engagement with branded content, without requiring the full commitment of a clickthrough. Still… while you can interact with a gadget ad, we have not yet seen an effective way to collect secure information for a direct purchase, user sign-up, etc.
Another intriguing banner ad strategy, Yahoo’s “smart ads” combine a single graphical element with localized text ads. Messaging is based on user behavior and localized targeting—behavioral targeting that is easier to control with test and learn budgets. Check out the demo for Yahoo smart ads.