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somnamblst

Animated vs static? Is that the reason for the slowdown?

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Something that occured to me, from ohem's post asking about the health of the banner creation job market, caused me to ponder what I am hearing argued where I work. That static banner ads perform better than animated.

 

I find that counterintuitive, but could it be explained by bad design decisions, things like the CTA not being present on frame 1, or animation used to convey more than one message, or being too resource intensive and lagging.

 

Another point I am unsure of is, do ad platforms charge more per CPM to run HTML5 banner ads. Back in the SWF days, I worked for a piblisher, and I know what they charged advertisers was not determined by whether the banner was a SWF, JPG or GIF, but back then everything was limited to 40K.

 

...when it comes to animated website banner conversion, businesses need to know HTML5/Flash ads feature a much lower click through rate. The rate is 71 percent less for these ads than those that are static according to Google’s display benchmarks. The reason for this may lie in the fact that it takes too long for the HTML5 ad to announce the call to action. Furthermore, Time reports the average user spends 66 percent of their time below the fold, thus the static ad is quickly seen and acted upon, while the animated ad may be glanced at and forgotten."

 

https://getdigitallyfit.com/website-banners/

 

...The campaign started with the client’s static ad creative. This creative showcased an image of the game layout and some of its characters. In a glance, users were able to understand the theme of the game and how it’s played.

We made some iterations with the current creative to improve the campaign performance. We added a simple animation by showing one power-up, and then crafted another HTML5 animated creative by combining multiple power-ups. The final HTML5 animated ad outperformed all the other iterations"...

 

https://www.aarki.com/blog/a-comparison-of-display-ad-formats-html5-animated-vs.-static

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This is an interesting question to me, having based my career on animating banner ads. I think it is easier to make mistakes in animated ads. You need a persistent CTA and very brief, concise messaging.

We once did a series of elaborate animated ads for Old Navy, and were told that they ended up just running the static backups when it was found that they were outperforming the animations. 

 

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(Sadly) i had a similar experience. After building several very time consuming cartoony like ads (moving eyes, fingers e.g.) for a campaign. For the next job the same client asked for nearly static ads with only fade-in-outs. What should i say. His media company told me the later static one outperformed the first campaign. But as we all know - there is good animation is there's bad. ;-)

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As an outsider to the banner ad industry, I will say that animated ads are very frustrating on mobile. I can deal with static ads, but I will click away from a site if it looks like the animated ads are making the site unresponsive.

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I've built my fair share of banners. I never agreed with the amount of animation and effects pushed into them - I was quite grateful of it as it gave me something to learn some basic frontend development and animation in a contained environment.

 

But, as a customer, I can easily see how static ads would be more performant. They are less intrusive/annoying, all the information is there for the user to see at all times and if nicely designed, they are easier on the eyes.

 

I feel ads online are better if they follow the print world style, rather than the TV world.

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33 minutes ago, Dipscom said:

But, as a customer, I can easily see how static ads would be more performant. They are less intrusive/annoying, all the information is there for the user to see at all times and if nicely designed, they are easier on the eyes.

 

And that's why we have AMP.  At its core, Google is an advertising company.

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AMP is Google taking a leaf out from Facebbok's book and trying to create its own walled garden.

 

But I will conced it is groundbreaking technology.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Dipscom said:

AMP is Google taking a leaf out from Facebbok's book and trying to create its own walled garden.

 

Not really. Google has its own walled planet sans China. I'm not saying that's a good thing... but that's the reality of the internet right now.

 

6 minutes ago, Dipscom said:

But I will conced it is groundbreaking technology.

 

I agree. Web components are awesome. No React. No Vue. No frameworks. Just good old fashioned HTML. 

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5 hours ago, leolo69 said:

(Sadly) i had a similar experience. After building several very time consuming cartoony like ads (moving eyes, fingers e.g.) for a campaign. For the next job the same client asked for nearly static ads with only fade-in-outs. What should i say. His media company told me the later static one outperformed the first campaign. But as we all know - there is good animation is there's bad. ;-)

 

The only way to be sure is an A/B test where the same ad, is served randomly, 50/50. Half of the impressions are the static back up, and half of the versions are the animated one. I have not found anything that shows that this isn't just blanket supposition.

 

When I worked for a publisher, the hearing aid industry was a sector targeted for ad buying. As I had created quite a few, I was intrigued when I saw a NY Times article about a hearing aid manufacturer, learning something they had not suspected using A/B testing.

 

The untargeted ads outperformed the targeted ones. Turned out they were being clicked on, by women in their 50s. And the targeted ads being served to older people, were not. Turns out the hearing impaired are not frustrated by their hearing loss. It is their daughters who have to yell to be heard.

 

Obviously a lot of factors outside of our control, effect performance.

 

And I think being left out of the reporting metrics loop, leaves us blind.

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4 minutes ago, somnamblst said:

Turns out the hearing impaired are not frustrated by their hearing loss.

 

I've got a 25% hearing loss (50% in one ear, so if you are on my right side I will know you are talking but will not be able to understand what you are saying) and I must say (althought not comparable to a more severe type of hearing loss) it really doesn't bother me. If anything, it makes me zone out and focus quite efficiently. 😛

 

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I always enjoyed building HTML ads before HTML5 was a thing. Like units that pulled a Twitter or Facebook feed, or  a Google map in a high impact unit, but working for a publisher where my ad building was a carrot to land $$$$ from advertisers, none of my "look what I can do experiments" ended up being utilized, because either sales people did not try to sell them, or advertisers just did not want to spend the money. Hard to know which.

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So one thing I have been mandated to do recently, that felt like it was wrong based on the sequence of the animated messaging, was to have the CTA present from the first frame.

 

I also do not have my animation begin immediately, based on my own experience of seeing my ads mid page in articles, where the animation had finished. 

 

I also pushed back on copywriters who thought animation was a chance to say something, have that copy go away, and then say something additionally at the end.

 

Even worse was the Spanish language agency that thought animation should be one long run on sentence, spread across four of what they like to call frames.

 

Are animated banners performing worse because of copywriters?

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