Re: Using Flash for Ads

From: Abbi Gosling <>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 15:14:33 -0500 (CDT)

>...I'm reading that 77% of Internet users can use the
>Flash format.... Is this a format that advertisers want to
>use? How many sites or advertisers are using this format?
>I understand its technical merits, but do advertisers
>consider it an advantage?

Our agency recently worked on some banner ads for a
children's portal called We used animated gifs on
the whole, although we also created some very simple
javascript banners (containing little games that would
appeal to small children) in order to test their comparative
effectiveness. Our feeling was that simple, straightforward
messages would work best (in this respect, children and
their parents are not dissimilar to any other consumer) and
in fact we achieved some great results (including one gif
banner that is consistently pulling over 7%). All that to
say that clear effective advertising doesn't need to be
flashy (in the visual sense) to be effective. However, Flash
offers some big advantages to advertisers that are worth
considering. The first and most obvious of these is the wow
factor of seeing a fully animated, often sound-enhanced
advertisement. If your intent is to associate your brand
with innovation, entertainment, fun, technical expertise, or
even the more generic idea of "coolness" (hard to quantify,
I agree) then creating work in Flash can be very effective.
The simple fact of your having chosen to take a slight leap
by using a less-common technology can work in your favor.
IBM chose to use Flash and Enliven in their recent online
brand campaign for that very reason. Secondly, Flash offers
you a chance to get a lot of information across about your
brand, regardless of click through. Multiple product shots,
several lines of copy, your jingle or TV music: all of these
are possible. Another advantage -- if you're looking for
click-through effectiveness -- is that you can start a
relationship in an enhanced banner that can then be
continued on your website. Mind you, we also achieved that
using a gif and javascript combo: the gif banner asked a
simple question and the little pop up answered it once the
user clicked through to the site. It worked very well, and
seemed to encourage longer site visits. Advertisers like
Flash because it's, to put it bluntly, cooler and more
impressive. It feels unusual. It feels advanced. Creative
folks like it because it gives them a little more room to
spread their wings. And as long as your ad serving solution
'sniffs' for the Flash plug-in, and serves gifs to those
people who are unable to see the Flash banner, I think users
like it too. One note: we've always made the sound
capability of Flash be an optional choice, as we found users
were deeply disconcerted when music or voices started
blaring at them unexpectedly. The final note is, of course,
cost. Flash banners cost a great deal more than their
animated gif or javascript counterparts, and it's worthwhile
evaluating whether the additional development, serving and
media costs make them a poor return on your investment. As I
said, we've found that a more creative solution can
sometimes be as effective, bearing in mind that one's
audience and brand strategy should be the final deciding
factor. Best of luck with your site and upcoming campaign!

Abbi Gosling
Creative Director
Agile Industries (

        This week's Online Advertising Discussion List sponsors:
                   AdFlight, Streammedia, and Valueclick

AdFlight (formerly Immerce) - The Internet Advertising Exchange: Your
high choice, low price source for Internet ads! WEEKLY AUCTIONS,
DAILY DEALS! Go now to


              Evolve, she said. RADICALMAIL.COM
   Streaming multimedia email that puts your advertising back
     on top of the food chain.


ValueClick has cost-effective ad space available for *Smarter Buyers*
--> Reach: Over 23% of the Internet - measured by Media Metrix
ValueClick Ad Network | 1 (877) VALUE AD |

Received on Mon Aug 16 1999 - 15:33:22 CDT


With an archive of more than 14,000 postings, since 1996 the Online Advertising Discussion List has been the Internet's leading forum focused on professional discussion of online advertising and online media buying and selling strategies, results, studies, tools, and media coverage. If you wish to join the discussion list, please use this link to sign up on the home page of the Online Advertising Discussion List.


Online Advertising Industry Leaders:

Local SEO with Video
Houston SEO
Austin Web Design

Add your company...

Local SEO with Video


Online Advertising Discussion List Archives: 2003 - Present
Online Advertising Discussion List Archives: 2001 - 2002
Online Advertising Discussion List Archives: 1999 - 2000
Online Advertising Discussion List Archives: 1996 - 1998

Online Advertising Home | Guidelines | Conferences | Testimonials | Contact Us | Sponsorship | Resources
Site Access and Use Policy | Privacy Policy

2323 Clear Lake City Blvd., Suite 180-139, Houston, TX 77062-8120
Phone: 281-480-6300
Copyright 1996-2007 The Online Advertising Discussion List, a division of ADASTRO Incorporated.
All Rights Reserved.