Every year, millions of viewers tune in to the Super Bowl for two reasons:

  1. The game
  2. The ads

Why is that?

Consumers have come to expect quality ads during the Super Bowl, and they reward advertisers with their attention.

So, we have a question for you.

Why don’t you build an HTML5 banner ad for the Super Bowl?

Sure, it’s a rhetorical question. But, what would happen if you approached digital production and every single piece of advertising creative with the same fervor you would a Super Bowl ad?

“It’s not even the same thing!” you might say. “The Super Bowl is a guaranteed captive audience of millions of people. It makes sense to invest the resources in building a great ad.”

But, people don’t watch Super Bowl ads because they’re a captive audience. They watch the ads because the bar has been set high. They know they’ll be entertained.

Every day, you have access to a captive audience of hundreds or thousands of people. They’re scrolling through feeds, content, apps and more. And they’re not so much banner blind as they’re banner bored.

The best way to engage someone? Treat them like a partner (and person), not a statistic.

Create conversations, not campaigns

HTML5 Banner Ads – create Conversations

Pre-Internet advertising was a broadcast system. Brands talked to, instead of talking with, their target audience.

But times have changed. Brands live and die by the conversations they’re creating, directly or indirectly.

So, how do you start a good conversation? By listening.

First, look to social media for inspiration. What are your customers talking about? What are their unmet needs and frustrations? And how does your offering address those?

Then, go beyond social media. Ask other departments – customer-facing and internal teams – for their feedback. What are customers saying to your customer service team? Your sales team? Account managers?

Use the insights you uncover to empower your digital production team. The seeds for your next great HTML5 banner ad campaign might just come from accounting, not your creative department.

Go out – far out – for inspiration

Digital Banner Production

There’s a lot you can learn from looking at brands inside and outside your industry.  Don’t just focus on direct competitors. Look to brands that provide similar benefits (save time, save money, have fun) with completely different products and services. What are their customers saying on social media? What campaign angles are they pursuing?

A great example of the road less taken is Panadol and their headache pain-relief tablets.

Anyone who’s suffered from headaches and congestion knows how terrible the pressure and pounding can feel. But, instead of building an HTML5 banner ad around the usual pain-relief product storyline of a suffering-then-happy before and after, Panadol built a great ad around the image of what a headache really feels like to sufferers: a non-stop disco party.

Know your destination

HTML5 digital display ads

HTML5 digital display ads

Part of building consumer-centered HTML5 banner ads is creating a great ad experience.

And that doesn’t end with digital production. It depends, in part, on where an ad will display.

Advertisers (and their agents) have a responsibility to vet their ads’ destinations.

In his shake-up-the-industry speech, P&G exec Marc Pritchard talked about the murky world of digital advertising, where standards can be haphazard and contracts are fuzzy. The rise of fake news has added gasoline to the fire: sites are made profitable by advertising and there’s incentive to drive traffic with content that doesn’t meet journalistic standards.

Every site that’s exposed as fake erodes consumer trust even further. Advertisers are scrutinized for their part in bankrolling the lies.

It may not be the most interesting part of launching a campaign, but where your ads display does matter. Stellar digital production and all the traffic in the world can’t compensate for a reputation downgrade. Look for platforms that serve quality content and use 3rd party verification systems to measure performance.

Reinforce trust

High Quality Banners

High Quality Banners

Why is word of mouth considered the most powerful form of marketing?


Friends, family, acquaintances – when they make a recommendation to us, we know (or hope) that it’s based on their own experience, not an affiliate commission.

Adding to the trust bank: most word of mouth recommendations are prompted by conversation.

Someone talks about a problem they’re having, the other person listens and asks questions, then makes a recommendation.

Advertisers can build that same trust by listening to their target audience and incorporating that understanding into compelling HTML5 banner ad campaigns.

Which leads us to our final tip.

Ditch the tricks

Digital creative agency

Digital creative agency

There’s a world of difference between explaining your offering and tricking your customers into clicking or buying.

Every time someone interacts with your ad, they’re taking a leap of faith. They’re trusting that your ad won’t infect or lock up their device. And they’re trusting that the ad’s ‘punchline’ or landing page will be relevant, that it will somehow makes their life better.

Look no further than Kellogg’s for inspiration.

Kellogg’s All-Bran ad does a great job of weaving relevance, education and interactivity together into a streamlined piece of creative. It’s a perfect example of “show, don’t tell,” with no tricks required. The viewer is left with a smile and a reminder of the importance of fiber.

Don’t trick your audience. Because they’ll never forgive (or forget) it.
The more we treat our target audiences like partners, the faster we can save the world of digital display advertising.