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Monday, Aug. 6, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Advertisers to Burn $100 Bills in Times Square Bonfire

By Bryan Eisenberg
August 6th, 2007

OK, maybe that’s not exactly true, but it might be preferable to what Circuit City and Walgreens are doing with their banner ads.

After reading Jeff’s piece about the Drudge Report, I went to the site and found these* examples of what not to do with banner ads.

walgreens_ad.jpg

Walgreens

The ad for the Walgreens Photo Center isn’t the sharpest thing we’ve ever seen, but it does the job. It tells me, quite clearly, that I can pick up my photos in as little as an hour. Fair enough, but why isn’t that message clear and consistent when I click-through to this landing page?

If Walgreens wants to generate any type of meaningful return on their advertising investment, they need to keep that persuasive momentum going across channels. Walgreens just made a great, time-saving value proposition. Why would they then waste time with a different message — especially one as bland as “New Everyday Price”? Is having the same price each day a new concept? They shouldn’t believe that someone engaged with the full animation with their ad and might have only seen the last screen.

Be like Drudge. Be consistent!

circuit_city_ad.jpg

Circuit City

Now, this one really saddens me. They’re so close (yet so far)!

Yes, I can recognize those images as being GPS systems — although I’m sure not everyone would. There’s also what appears to be a ranking system below each GPS. Cool! I’ve seen some Bazaarvoice clients use these type of ads with success.

Just a couple of problems, though. Are those customer ratings? Are they the result of editorial ratings from trusted tech publications? Shall I assume it’s on a 5-point scale? Is there a reason why they’re not explicitly saying that these are, in fact, GPS navigation systems?

Here’s the worst part: when I click-through, there are no reviews to be found — by customers, editors, Circuit City staff, or anyone else who might sway me. Am I missing something? Do I need to purchase a GPS system to find these mysterious reviews? At first glance, it looks like Circuit City is taking some pointers from the Bazaarvoice consumer-generated reviews playbook. But without complete messaging in the first place, and no continuity on the landing page, the experience is broken.

Of course, we wouldn’t recommend anybody actually burn $100 bills, but least a Times Square cash bonfire would create a bit of buzz. :)

(*Keep in mind that, since Drudge Report rotates its ads, you may not see these same banners.)

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Comments (4)

  1. There are plenty of reviews to be found…just click the first link in the page body and you’ll see a list of products with ratings, including the gold bars in the creative. Far form perfect, but not that hard to find and certainly not worth blogging about.

  2. PK,

    How do you know that? Because you clicked-through from the landing page to individual product pages, that’s how. So, you were able to find a separate section for ratings and reviews because we gave you a reason to look for them. Most people who wind up there within the context of clicking a banner ad wouldn’t bother digging that deep.

    If the reviews are not showcased properly, and don’t show up next to the products on the landing page, they might as well not exist. There’s nothing persuasive about clicking a link that says “more ratings and reviews” that’s way off to the right side, dangling off a cliff with no context.

    Do you see why these visual cues are so important?

  3. [...] that actually contains that information. The folks over at GrokDotCom demonstrate a retailer who is using review data in ads, but do not have review data on the landing page – ouch. We talk briefly about using review data in [...]

  4. Walgreeens doesn’t have to do a whole lot of advertising to get people to use their photo service. I think that is why the advertsing is so bland. It can be as bland as can be but they would still get tons of customers.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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