This is part of my 2008 presidential election recap. You can find Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 on the links above. This posts looks at the value of a 300x250 flash ad and since that sounds a little boring I'll make this post as a fictitious meeting that never occurred. Oh and in case you want my answer before reading the post - the value of a 300x250 flash ad is not much these days....
eCampaign Guy - Thanks for coming here. Let's review where we are with our online ad buys - search and display with only 4 weeks to go.
Marketing Consultant - Sure. Well our display buys are going ok. We had 6 ads in rotation and most of them have CTRs under 0.50% and we aren't getting enough conversions on the back end, so we pulled more out of rotation. Our best ad in the past year was the "Meeting Unconditionally" ad or Hippie Hillary.
eCampaign Guy - What kind of results did you get with those? Any other good ads?
MConsultant - Those ads got CTR's north of 2% and the amount of donations and email signups we got from those were through the roof. CPA's less than $1. Pre-roll ads worked great for us. Basically, fun or entertaining or scare tactic ads work the best.
eCampaign Guy - Gotcha. How's the search doing?
MConsultant - Paid search is off the charts. We are returning at least $2 in donations for every $1 we are spending, CTR's are awesome, we are driving tremendous amounts of traffic to your Obama attack sites, and maxing out the daily spend. Any chance to get more money?
eCampaign Guy - No chance to get more money. Well at least search is returning. Think we should brainstorm new display ads? How long will that take?
Creative Chick - Well we can have some new ads for you to look at tomorrow, but your approval process takes some time.
MConsultant - I have a better idea. Why don't we cancel the remaining display buys and plow all of that money into paid search.
eCampaign Guy - Well, we are getting better results and better traffic. We still haven't received the results of our branding study so we can't know for sure. Yes - that's a great idea, let's move it now
Of course the meeting above didn't exactly go like that, but the end result was the same. Yes for both the RNC and McCain I advocated moving almost all of our dollars into paid search because it was working so well. The good folks at the RNC and McCain agreed without much of a discussion and in fact pored more money in with a few days to go, pretty much guaranteeing it was the largest political search campaign in the history of politics. We didn't quite turn off display ads, but here's when I think they were worthwhile...
Eric's Reason's for Running 300x250 Ads
- Ads that generate earned media
- Ads that generate internet exposure
- Google content ads included video ad units
- Pre-roll video to guarantee a TV like experience
- Streaming video ad units that are highly targeted
That's it and in that order. Of course that's after you max out and fully fund your paid search or social networking campaigns. Right now unless it is via Google, why lock yourself into an ad buy that requires long creative timelines for something if you are lucky gets better than a 0.50% CTR? You shouldn't because the value of a 300x250 in getting lower and lower; stick to newer ad units and paid search.