When was the last time you came across a memorable banner ad on any web page?
Nay, when was the last time you paid attention to any banner ad on a web page?
If you’re struggling to recollect, you’re not alone. Banner ads — much like the physical display ads and posters seen plastered across every other city — have become so common and high in volume that we’ve virtually taught ourselves to tune them out.
This tendency to miss banner ads — now referred to as banner blindness — affects most of us. In fact, 86% of consumers are affected by banner blindness today.
The impact is seen in the average clickthrough rate (CTR) of display ads across industries, which stands at 0.46% today. This leaves a mountain to climb for any business that depends on banner advertising to improve sales.
What causes banner blindness?
With the deluge of banner ads pouring in from all directions, users have become desensitized to anything that remotely resembles an ad on a web page. Let’s take a look at the key factors that influence banner blindness.
Users rarely — if ever — visit a web page looking for ads. The first thing any user would do when they land on a page is to look for the information they need. This means scanning the page quickly until they find what they’re looking for. So, unless your ad connects directly with the user, chances are they will spend next to no time considering the ad, let alone going through it in detail.
Banner ads are normally placed at the top of the page or on the right rail. Users have become so accustomed to seeing ads on these locations that these parts of the page are generally skipped altogether.
Users have become accustomed to the design styles and language used on banner ads. This reduces the chance of users finding themselves connecting with the content in your ad, even if it may be relevant to them.
Addressing banner blindness with creative automation
Banner blindness presents a significant challenge for businesses today, but there’s a lot that can be done to counter the phenomenon. To make banner ads stand out, your designs will need to offer something fresh and unique to the user — enough to turn their attention towards your content and consider your message.
This will require growth and marketing teams to experiment a lot more with their designs and positioning and make adjustments based on the progress of your campaigns in real time. Now, this is where creative automation can support your advertising efforts and help improve your CTR from banner ads.
5 ways creative automation can be used to counter banner blindness
1. Innovating with designs
With thousands of ads vying for attention every day, standing out with your banner ad is hardly a walk in the park. Even with unique offerings to talk about, your ads might not get the attention they deserve if your design doesn’t have an instant impact on users.
To turn heads and give your ads the opportunity to make an impact, your designs will need to stray from the usual ad designs that users see online. The less your ad looks like a standard banner ad, the more likely it is that a user will take an interest in your design and your offering.
It is easier to work on new variants when you’ve got fewer creatives to address, but when the requirements are higher, the sheer volume of creatives you’ll have to develop can be overwhelming. With creative automation, your team can quickly address large-scale creative requirements with a variety of designs generated in minutes.
Creative automation saves your team the effort that goes into coming up with fresh ideas from scratch and any adjustments and changes can be made to the copy and design without spending too much time on the process.
2. Reducing ad fatigue
When users get too accustomed to seeing the same or similar ads from your brand, it is more likely that they will tune it out instead of exploring it further. This is a result of ad fatigue.
Ad fatigue sets in when users are constantly exposed to the same banner ad from your brand. This can have a significant impact on your campaigns as the CTR begins to drop and your return on ad spend (ROAS) takes a serious hit in the long run.
According to research by Simulmedia, users who viewed an advertisement 6-10 times were 4.1% less likely to engage with the ad than users who saw the same ad less than 5 times. The trend continues, with users who viewed the ad more than 11 times being 4.2% less likely to engage with it than users who viewed it between 6 to 10 times.
To counter ad fatigue, you will need to experiment with new designs, unique layouts, and copy that pops out at the user as they scroll past your ad. With creative automation, you can be more specific about the kind of ad you want to create and generate variations of your design without spending much time or creative effort.
Creative automation will allow your team to experiment more efficiently during campaigns while spending fewer resources on creating designs that make an impact. Based on how they perform, your team will also be able to make any necessary changes quickly and deliver better results with every campaign.
3. Driving relevance
One of the biggest reasons why users might skip ads even if they catch their attention is that the ads may not connect with them well enough. If your messaging does not align with what a user is looking for, you will lose their interest immediately.
It can be tricky to make your ads more relevant, particularly when you’re addressing a diverse audience with unique expectations from your brand. Segmenting your audience can help you communicate more effectively with individual groups as you can create ads that resonate better with their particular tastes.
You will also be able to target users by region or country and introduce context specific to those regions and countries. This way, you will make a mark as a global brand and build a stronger connection with users from different parts of the world.
Creative automation can be used to support this increased personalization and localization as you can create any number of variants of your design with the relevant changes in messaging without having to go through the design effort that it would otherwise require.
With creative automation, you can simply upload your text and creative inputs to the system and generate variants for any design you need instantly.
4. Building brand value
When creating fresh ad designs, it is important to be conscious of how your brand is being represented. As you innovate, it can be challenging to adhere to brand guidelines as you might with a design style that is already in place.
With some creative automation tools like Artwork Flow, you will be able to include your brand logo, colors, and other elements in all your designs with minimal effort. You can create new designs and templatize them with your brand elements, so it won’t take long to create the variations you need for any campaign.
Artwork Flow also allows you to upload your brand guidelines to the platform and implement them on all your creatives on the platform. You will be able to process your finalized ad creatives and get a brand score for each creative, giving you a clear picture of how you can improve brand value within the design.
5. Improving ad placement
Banner ads are most commonly placed at the top and the right side of web pages. With users now accustomed to this positioning, ads placed there tend to attract a lower CTR.
To improve ad performance, users will need to experiment a lot more with their ad placement and find out where they can have the best impact. This means creating banner ads in different sizes and layouts that are more appropriate for each of the aspect ratios used for the designs.
Creative automation tools allow you to create multiple versions of your design in different aspect ratios and the layouts for each of these designs can be adjusted as needed before generating all the variants necessary.
This way, your team will be able to confirm the ideal size and positioning of banner ads that work best for your brand without wasting much time during any campaign.
Despite the importance of banner ads for brands, improving CTR through banner ad campaigns can be challenging in more ways than one.
Creative automation is designed to help brands experiment faster and make proactive changes to their ad creatives during campaigns. Combined with the reduced consumption of time and resources, launching more impactful banner ads can help brands build a healthier ROAS with each campaign.
Want to know how your brand can use creative automation to amplify your returns?
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