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Revealing Too Much In Banner Ads

Published: May 2, 2012

Author: Sean Nowlin

Sometimes I enjoy just photographing the surface because I think it can be as revealing as going to the heart of the matter.

– Annie Leibovitz

Image credit: fatkidsuit
If you are a sci-fi geek like me, then most likely you’re waiting impatiently for the movie Prometheus. For those of you who don’t know (really?), it is the quasi-prequel to Alien.  (Both pictures are directed by the famous Ridley Scott.)
The marketing gurus in charge of whipping the fanbase into a frenzy have done a great job thus far. The viral videos (TED 2023, Happy Birthday, Official Trailer) have teased out enough info to get me excited without giving away too much. However, those same genius marketers have found out what a spoiler is all about.
This past weekend, an international trailer was released. I won’t go anywhere near it. Why? Because the three-minute clip supposedly reveals too much plot detail. It got me thinking: after seeing this trailer, how many people would no longer pay $15 to see the movie in the theater? Perhaps not that many, but you have to wonder about revealing too much when promoting something.
In the advertising world, it’s all about the tease. Grabbing your attention and asking you to do something. Do you look sexy in this car? Well, head to your local dealer and find out. But if you reveal too much, when all of the magic is exposed, will that dissuade someone from completing the desired action?
The thought here is to divulge just enough to entice someone into your sales funnel. In the display advertising world, your banner ad needs to tell enough to be interesting, but give a reason to click and see more. Keep it simple, create interest, and ask users to take the next step. Bring the consumer into your world where you can control everything about the environment. Don’t make the Prometheus mistake.  That’s what Ms. Leibovitz is saying above. You don’t have to reveal everything in order capture attention.
Sean Nowlin, Senior Display Media Manager

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