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Oh, You Want that Banner to be Effective? thumbnail

Oh, You Want that Banner to be Effective?

We deliver more than one billion banner ads daily at Casale Media and, as you might imagine, a whole lot of advertising artwork flows through our platform. We’ve seen it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. A big part of the work we do for clients involves monitoring the impact of every campaign that we run in accordance with the brand’s objectives and, in our experience, it’s the quality of creative used that can make all the difference.
Over the years we’ve accumulated quite a bit of insight into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to top performing online banner ads. Amazingly, that which is pretty doesn’t always perform.


GIFs and Goya thumbnail

GIFs and Goya

Every art form evolves.

Classic 18th century European paintings were stylistically and compositionally grounded in reality. The painters’ interpretations of the world, when transferred to canvas, still resembled their world. This realism wasn’t significantly challenged until guys like Francesco de Goya started messing around with dark, nightmarish stuff. His Black Paintings stood out from the work of his peers in both style and subject matter, and probably scared a lot of people.


The Soprano School of Creative Excellence thumbnail

The Soprano School of Creative Excellence

I’ve been watching marathon sessions of The Sopranos recently. Maybe a little much according to my nervous workmates, as I’ve taking to carrying a cigar pen everywhere with me and making veiled threats of sleeping with fishes. But I’m learning and growing, so I’m not switching it off. You see, I think there are things every creative can learn from Tony Soprano.


Ideas vs. Creation thumbnail

Ideas vs. Creation

I have an idea for an article, but I haven’t got around to writing it yet. I thought about it. I put the title on a PowerPoint slide, made a few bullet points and put a pretty picture next to it. I then showed it to some people and talked about it quite a lot. Everyone said they thought it was a really good idea and that it would indeed make a nice article. I then sent it to the good folks at IHAVEANIDEA and they liked the title too. “What a good idea,” they said, “when are you going to write it?” “What, I have to write now?” I said, “But it’s such a good idea.”


Wanted: Great Advertising Ideas. Yours Truly, Digital Media thumbnail

Wanted: Great Advertising Ideas. Yours Truly, Digital Media

Great advertising (the kind that gets noticed and acted on) calls for one essential ingredient…creativity. But for a medium dominated by algorithms, data, and mathematics, there is no question that we often lose sight of the power that a simple great idea can have on the potential of advertising to move people emotionally, and in the process, sway consideration and intent. Media planners and their clients have become so preoccupied with things like CTRs and attribution modeling that for now, the art of great advertising (digitally speaking) is being overshadowed by the science of media.


What The Hunger Games Teaches Us About the Creative Process thumbnail

What The Hunger Games Teaches Us About the Creative Process

Over the past few weeks, The Hunger Games has become quite the trending topic. At my agency, we are working with one our clients on a promotional tie-in with the movie. It gave me a convenient reason to read the book, take our creative group to see the movie and also engage in an in-depth conversation about Team Gale or Team Peeta with my niece.

After immersing myself in the storyline and debating the possible meanings by the author, I was struck by the similarities between The Hunger Games and the agency creative process.

To illustrate, imagine receiving the following letter from the President.


Your Mother Should Know thumbnail

Your Mother Should Know

I have a confession to make. Actually two confessions.

I have failed as a son and as a creative.

Unlike most countries around the world, last Sunday in the UK was Mother’s Day. This year I’d left things even later than usual in getting a card, so my wife kindly offered to pick one up for me. She was in a bit of a rush too, but chose a nice enough design – with flowers and a few flecks of silver glitter. But it wasn’t one that I’d have picked.


Forbidden Love thumbnail

Forbidden Love

By and large you are not the owner of the ideas you are paid to produce. You turn them in and they become the property of the agency, until the point they are presented to a client. Then they become the client’s property.

When we worked mainly on outbound media, this was not such a big deal. You were paid your wage to attack a brief, and you put together a pile of tissues that turned into a smaller stack of boards full of one-way messages. 98% of these ideas die. And it was painful, because as a professional you had trained yourself to invest a certain amount of passion – no, a certain amount of yourself in these ideas.


Two is the Loneliest Number thumbnail

Two is the Loneliest Number

The world might not end in 2012 as the Mayans predicted, but you don’t need an ancient calendar to see that the traditional way advertising is created, and more specifically the way ideas have traditionally been created, is quickly becoming extinct.

In the good ol’ days of advertising, the joined-at-the-hipster duo of copywriter and art director was the most efficient way to develop ideas into a campaign. Whether they were locked in an office together, in side-by-side cubicles, or sharing a table at the local coffee house, these two people were expected to change a client’s fortunes, or at least come up with something decent for the agency reel.


Creative Differences thumbnail

Creative Differences

When I am fortunate enough to work on the business of a new client, I always start out with the belief that I can make an impact on that client’s business. Ask my former bosses and co-workers. I swear to you. All I want to do is create things that help my clients, make their customers excited and make their competitors jealous.


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