'Are you creative?', we asked, and 53 climbers responded with a resounding yes. The brief was to design FOUR graphic adverts for any products from either Sportiva, Beal or Petzl.
Frank Bennett and Paul Cornthwaite of Lyon Equipment said, "We are really impressed with the quality of the adverts. Judging hasn't been easy. There's some great talent out there and we appreciate the time it took for each of the 53 climbers to design their adverts. Yes we could tell you were all climbers as the designs featured an understanding of what the gear is about, and how it used on the cliff or mountain. Most of the entries were from the UK but we also had one from Bulgaria, an Iranian entry and one from Canada. Thank you to everyone who entered."
Good graphic advert design isn't easy. A 728 x 90 pixel box isn't a huge space and your message has to attract attention and have a clear message. Product banners and towers have two roles, first they inform the viewer that a product exists, not everyone clicks on them, but most will notice them. Primarily they have to show a clear product image and the brand logo, text should be kept to a minimum but must be readable (not too small or ornate). The aim is to create an awareness that a product is available and what it does, and then if clicked on, the reader can find out even more about the product or even where to buy it.
Many judge the success of a graphic advert by how many times it has been clicked on. Clicking on a banner, to go to more product information or to an online shop, is called a call to action and the simplest way to invite the viewer to click is to simply write - 'click here', yes it is that simple and it works.
A simple banner is just one frame and that stays on a page that the reader is on. However, mutiple frame banners, also called animated gifs, give you the opportunity to present even more information when someone visits a page as the banner 'plays' through several frames as the reader views that one page. You could include a larger product image on the first frame, some product information on the second frame, price on the third, and then a call to action - 'click for detailed product specifications' on the fourth. Animated banners that rotate too fast, or 'flash' at you, are off putting and annoy people.
A standard single frame banner by Sarah Roberts: (see entry).
Flash banners are even more sophisticated and can include rich media like moving images, sound, animation and offer a seamless transition. Done right, they look very professional.This is a good example of a Flash banner by Drongo: (see entry).
As well as the traditional sized banners (that sit at the top of a page) and towers (that sit at the side of a page) we also included some other graphic advert sizes that are bigger than the normal banner and towers. We are increasingly using these in articles at UKClimbing.com. These graphic adverts have more space to play around with and are similar to the adverts you find in print magazines, except that you can click on them (try it) to get further information.
This is a good example of a larger graphic advert by Iain Munnery:(see entry)....click on it!
So, we were looking for a graphic adverts that show the product and brand clearly, included some information about the product and invited the reader to click on it. The best are eye catching but not too overtly 'flashy' or 'in your face' or include 'cheezy' marketing and advertising slogans, mottos, or taglines, as these can put the viewer right off. They follow the corporate image of the brand, or near it, so that there is continuity between marketing images both online, in print, for example in a catalogue, and in store merchandising materials.