The online advertising and its use in the World Wide Web

A detailed analysis of lexical-semantic features of advertising in the World Wide Web. Description of verbal and nonverbal methods used in online advertising. Bringing a sample website hosted on its various banners and advertisements to consumers.

Рубрика Маркетинг, реклама и торговля
Вид дипломная работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 10.04.2011
Размер файла 99,7 K

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In linguistics of the end of XX - the beginning of XXI centuries there is the special interest to the advertising as the discourse type. The creative potentiality of advertising as a discourse type has been pointed out recently by a lot of authors. Unfortunately you can not find a lot of papers devoted to the on-line advertising. The main explanation of this, in my estimation, is that on-line advertising is quit new type of promotion, but it gained tremendous success in last years.

Online advertising is a form of promotion that uses the Internet and World Wide Web for the expressed purpose of delivering marketing messages to attract customers. Examples of online advertising include contextual ads on search engine results pages, banner ads, Rich Media Ads, Social network advertising, online classified advertising, advertising networks and e-mail marketing, including e-mail spam.

The topicality of the paper is determined by necessity of the detailed analysis of the methods and types of the on-line advertising, their linguistic peculiarities and the creation of the web-site with the specific features of these advertisements and banners.

The research object is the on-line advertising and its use in the World Wide Web.

The research subject is the analysis of the lexically-semantic features of the advertising in the World Wide Web.

The aim of the paper is to find and describe the verbal and nonverbal methods that are used in advertising.

Among the objectives of this work are:

1) to describe persuasion methods, types and techniques of the on-line advertising;

2) to analyze different forms of advertising and point out why on-line advertisements has become so popular in last decades;

3) to outline the main types of banners;

4) to create a Web site with additional information about advertising and the examples of different banners.

The research is carried out with the help of the following methods of investigation:

· The descriptive method is used for full and precise description of the peculiarities of the on-line advertising.

· Due to the component analysis of the structural method I managed to describe the structure of banners and their location in web pages.

Labours of some philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, historians and linguists are devoted to the study of advertising (Semino, Cook, Campos Pardillos). At the same time on-line advertising (especially, banners) remains not fully investigated from linguistic positions. So, this is the novelty of the paper.

Practical value of diploma consists in possibilities of using its results in estimating what types of the advertisements will be the most useful. Positions of work can find practical application among managers and persons who promote different products.

The material, which is used while studying the theme, includes:

· books and researches on discourse and advertising;

· journals and papers related to the theme;

· internet sources;

· banners.

Web-site was created with Dremweaver software. Being new to web site building I had fixed upon this program because Dreamweaver is the best tool for both the beginning and advanced web page creator to create slightly complex website, with simple but animated toolbars, little animations, sound clips and so forth.

I. Linguistic peculiarities of the web-advertising

1. Main approaches of the persuasion

1.1 Discourse studies in modern linguistics

Discourse (L. discursus, "running to and from") means either "written or spoken communication or debate" or "a formal discussion or debate" . The term is often used in semantics and discourse analysis.

In semantics, discourses are linguistic units composed of several sentences; in other words, conversations, arguments, or speeches. In discourse analysis, which came to prominence in the late 1960s, the word "discourse" is shorthand for "discursive formation", which is what Michel Foucault called communication that involves specialized knowledge of various kinds. It is in this sense that the word is most often used in academic studies. [9, p.11]

Studies of discourse have been carried out within a variety of traditions that investigate the relations between language and structure including feminist studies, anthropology, ethnography, cultural studies, literary theory and the history of ideas. Within these fields, the notion of discourse is itself subject to discourse, that is, debated on the basis of specialized knowledge. Discourse can be observed in the use of spoken, written and signed language and multimodal/multimedia forms of communication, and is not found only in 'non-fictional' or verbal materials. [29 p.54]

1.2 The use of implication in the discourse of commercial English advertising

The thesis focuses on the problem of implication in the discourse of commercial English advertising. In this study under implication is understood a special way of expressing information that does not receive direct verbalization and is indicated by explicit verbal and nonverbal elements - markers. The explication of implicit information is achieved through additional mental operations. Evaluations and associations in the advertising discourse fall under the category of implicit information. The investigation has proved that implication is a distinguishing feature of the advertising discourse, tracked on the discourse, lexical, grammatical and nonverbal levels. The presence of implication is conditioned by the type of discourse, its parameters, aims and tasks of its sender. The status of implication in the advertising discourse is explained by its contradictory nature. On the one hand, implication complicates and hinders the processing and decoding of information, requires additional mental efforts of addressee, and, on the other hand, encourages addressee to take a more active part in the communication. Among the factors which stipulate implication in the advertising discourse are the principle of language economy, originality and expressiveness of language forms, tendency towards colloquialization of the advertising language, strengthening of illocutionary force. It has been shown that explicit presentation of information tends to be obtrusive whereas implicit way foresees drawing the addressee into more intensive decoding of information, increases attractiveness of advertising and its effects on the addressee. The structure of the cognitive model of the advertising discourse consists of motives and inducements and can be explicit or implicit. The implication of the inducement helps sender to avoid being categorical. The discourse of advertising is characterized by complex intentions. The indication of implication is realized by different types of discourse, lexical, grammatical and nonverbal markers. The decisive role in explication of implicit information belongs to the cognitive meaning of the advertising discourse. The implicit information, which is marked by explicit verbal and nonverbal means is part of the cognitive model, evaluation component, pragmatic meaning of text and word. The representation of the cognitive model can be complete or partial, which depends on the explicit or implicit rendering of its parts. The investigation has proved that it is partial representation of the cognitive model that dominates in the discourse of commercial English advertising.[5, p.234]

The category of evaluation, obligatory in the advertising discourse, is reflected in lexis, being part of the connotative component. The evaluation, which is present in the motive of the cognitive model, implies inducement, confirming its status of the regulator of the addressee's behaviour. The evaluation in the discourse of commercial advertising is polyreferential. Among lexical markers of implicit information are place names, particles such as only, even, finally, at last, dates, the definite article, foreign words, quotations, comparative constructions. Imperative illocutionary force in the discourse of commercial advertising is realized by various grammatical markers, which mitigate the categorical modality of the text, create an impression of the sender's non-engagement. Among grammatical markers stands out a group of questions, which within the advertising discourse loses its primary function, acquiring the meaning of inducement. Text of advertising is a bilingual unit, in which language and paralanguage fulfill one communicative task. Implicit information is marked by nonverbal means, namely illustrations, pictorial tropes, colour, underlining, kinds and size of type. Besides its attractiveness and psychological effect, colour is a marker of implicit information, which communicates to the addressee information about products and their high quality. Among paragraphic markers of implicit information underlining is applied to the most important elements of the text. Different styles of types were registered as nonverbal markers if implicit information about products advertised in the text. [11, p.58-60]

1.3 Types of persuasion in the everyday life

Persuasion is a form of social influence. It is the process of guiding people and oneself toward the adoption of an idea, attitude, or action by rational and symbolic (though not always logical) means. It is a strategy of problem-solving relying on "appeals" rather than coercion. According to Aristotle, "Rhetoric is the art of discovering, in a particular case, the available means of persuasion."

Everyday we are confronted by persuasion. Food makers want us to buy their newest products, while movie studios want us to go see the latest blockbusters. Because persuasion is such a pervasive component of our lives, it is easy to overlook how we are influenced by outside sources. [27]

1.3.1 Persuasion Techniques

Due to the usefulness of influence, persuasion techniques have been studied and observed since ancient times, but social psychologists began formally studying these techniques early in the 20th-century. The goal of persuasion is to convince the target to internalize the persuasive argument and adopt this new attitude as a part of their core belief system.

These are just a few of highly effective techniques of persuasion. Other methods include the use of rewards, punishments, positive or negative expertise, moral appeal, and many others.

1. Create a Need

One method of persuasion involves creating a need or an appealing a previously exiting need. This type of persuasion appeals to a person's fundamental needs for shelter, love, self-esteem, and self-actualization.

2. Appeal to Social Needs

Another very effective persuasive method appeals to the need to be popular, prestigious, or similar to others. Television commercials provide many example of this type of persuasion, where viewers are encouraged to purchase items so they can be like everyone else or be like a well-known or well-respected person. Television advertisements are a huge source of exposure to persuasion considering that some estimates claim that the average American watches between 1,500 to 2,000 hours of television every year.

3. Use Loaded Words and Images

Persuasion also often makes use of loaded words and images. Advertisers are well aware of the power of positive words, which is why so many advertisers utilize phrases such as "New and Improved" or "All Natural.

The examples above are just a few of the many persuasion techniques described by social psychologists. Look for examples of persuasion in your daily experience. An interesting experiment is to view a half-hour of a random television program and note every instance of persuasive advertising. The amount of persuasive techniques used in such a brief period of time can be astonishing. [30, p.10-12]

1.3.2 Methods of persuasion

Persuasion methods are also sometimes referred to as persuasion tactics or persuasion strategies.According to Robert Cialdini in his book on persuasion, he defined six "weapons of influence":

Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor. Thus, the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing and advertising. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1937.

Commitment and Consistency - Once people commit to what they think is right, orally or in writing, they are more likely to honor that commitment, even if the original incentive or motivation is subsequently removed. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy. See cognitive dissonance.

Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See confirmity, and the Asch conformity experiments.

Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents, such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s.

Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people whom they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed, but generally more aesthetically pleasing people tend to use this influence excellently over others.

Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales. Propaganda is also closely related to Persuasion. It's a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people. Instead of impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. The most effective propaganda is often completely truthful, but some propaganda presents facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience. The term 'propaganda' first appeared in 1622 when Pope Gregory XV established the Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith. Propaganda was then as now about convincing large numbers of people about the veracity of a given set of ideas. Propaganda is as old as people, politics and religion. [27]

advertisement verbal banner website

2. The characteristic features of the advertising

Advertising is a form of communication used to help sell products and services. Typically it communicates a message including the name of the product or service and how that product or service could potentially benefit the consumer. However, advertising does typically attempt to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume more of a particular brand of product or service. Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [15, p.100]

Many advertisements are designed to generate increased consumption of those products and services through the creation and reinvention of the "brand image". For these purposes, advertisements sometimes embed their persuasive message with factual information. There are many media used to deliver these messages, including traditional media such as television, radio, cinema, magazines, newspapers, video games, the carrier bags, billboards, mail or post and Internet marketing. Today, new media such as digital signage is growing as a major new mass media. Advertising is often placed by an advertising agency on behalf of a company or other organization.

Organizations that frequently spend large sums of money on advertising that sells what is not, strictly speaking, a product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations, and military recruiters. Non-profit organizations are not typical advertising clients, and may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as public service announcements.

Money spent on advertising has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2008, spending on advertising has been estimated at over $150 billion in the United States and $385 billion worldwide, and the latter to exceed $450 billion by 2010.

While advertising can be seen as necessary for economic growth, it is not without social costs. Unsolicited Commercial Email and other forms of spam have become so prevalent as to have become a major nuisance to users of these services, as well as being a financial burden on internet service providers. Advertising is increasingly invading public spaces, such as schools, which some critics argue is a form of child exploitation. In addition, advertising frequently uses psychological pressure (for example, appealing to feelings of inadequacy) on the intended consumer, which may be harmful. [21, p. 355-356]

2.1 The influence of advertising

After watching a part of the movie thank you for smoking, it seemed like all that the producer cares about is that his product is sold no matter how unhealthy the product is. I think that advertising influences a lot of people. In fact, advertising does more than influence people's taste, it controls our desires. People that watch a commercial, for example, want to look like that person in the advertisement; here is where advertising starts to influence people in a negative way. We usually see very thin models, for example, in most of the ads and commercials. This basically says that skinny is beautiful, or at least that is the message that it is sending to young girls, which is why we see so many girls with eating disorders today. It was all over the tabloids when Tyra Banks and Britney Spears didn't look as thin as they were before. Basically those tabloids were saying that they are now ugly because they are not thin which makes young girls want to be thin. People, especially the young ones, are under a lot of pressure. They want to look "cool" and beautiful and I think that what they see in advertisement is what they sometimes want to become which is why they go out and buy that product. There is a proactive commercial where Jessica Simpson's skin looks absolutely flawless. Girls that see that commercial want her skin so they go and buy proactive. I actually asked my cousin, she is a dermatologist and she said that it doesn't work all the time, some people really like it some people hate it. Sometimes advertisers make false statements and hope that the people would not know better or wouldn't want to find out and just go and buy the product. For example, the food pictures that we saw in class. In the ad they look very good but in reality they are not half as good. However, advertising could also have a positive influence on people. A commercial that talks about how bad smoking is for you, could influence people to stop smoking. Sometimes, even if people know what is good and bad for them, they don't realize it until someone tells them what is good and what is bad. Whether you like it or not, at some point advertisements will influence you in a good or bad way, it is up to you to decide. [28, p.40-42]

2.2 Forms of advertising

Advertising can take a number of forms, including advocacy, comparative, cooperative, direct-mail, informational, institutional, outdoor, persuasive, product, reminder, point-of-purchase, and specialty advertising.

Advocacy Advertising Advocacy advertising is normally thought of as any advertisement, message, or public communication regarding economic, political, or social issues. The advertising campaign is designed to persuade public opinion regarding a specific issue important in the public arena. The ultimate goal of advocacy advertising usually relates to the passage of pending state or federal legislation. Almost all nonprofit groups use some form of advocacy advertising to influence the public's attitude toward a particular issue.

Comparative Advertising Comparative advertising compares one brand directly or indirectly with one or more competing brands. This advertising technique is very common and is used by nearly every major industry, including airlines and automobile manufacturers. One drawback of comparative advertising is that customers have become more skeptical about claims made by a company about its competitors because accurate information has not always been provided, thus making the effectiveness of comparison advertising questionable.

Cooperative Advertising Cooperative advertising is a system that allows two parties to share advertising costs. Manufacturers and distributors, because of their shared interest in selling the product, usually use this cooperative advertising technique. An example might be when a soft-drink manufacturer and a local grocery store split the cost of advertising the manufacturer's soft drinks; both the manufacturer and the store benefit from increased store traffic and its associated sales. Cooperative advertising is especially appealing to small storeowners who, on their own, could not afford to advertise the product adequately.

Direct-Mail Advertising Catalogues, flyers, letters, and postcards are just a few of the direct-mail advertising options. Direct-mail advertising has several advantages, including detail of information, personalization, selectivity, and speed.

Informational Advertising In informational advertising, which is used when a new product is first being introduced, the emphasis is on promoting the product name, benefits, and possible uses

Institutional Advertising Institutional advertising takes a much broader approach, concentrating on the benefits, concept, idea, or philosophy of a particular industry. Companies often use it to promote image-building activities, such an environmentally friendly business practices or new community-based programs that it sponsors. Institutional advertising is closely related to public relations, since both are interested in promoting a positive image of the company to the public.

Outdoor Advertising Billboards and messages painted on the side of buildings are common forms of outdoor advertising, which is often used when quick, simple ideas are being promoted. Since repetition is the key to successful promotion, outdoor advertising is most effective when located along heavily traveled city streets and when the product being promoted can be purchased locally. Only about 1 percent of advertising is conducted in this manner.

Persuasive Advertising Persuasive advertising is used after a product has been introduced to customers. The primary goal is for a company to build selective demand for its product. For example, automobile manufacturers often produce special advertisements promoting the safety features of their vehicles.

Product Advertising Product advertising pertains to nonpersonal selling of a specific product.

Reminder Advertising Reminder advertising is used for products that have entered the mature stage of the product life cycle. The advertisements are simply designed to remind customers about the product and to maintain awareness.

Point-of-Purchase Advertising Point-of-purchase advertising uses displays or other promotional items near the product that is being sold. The primary motivation is to attract customers to the display so that they will purchase the product.

Specialty Advertising Specialty advertising is a form of sales promotion designed to increase public recognition of a company's name. A company can have its name put on a variety of items, such as caps, glassware, gym bags, jackets, key chains, and pens. The value of specialty advertising varies depending on how long the items used in the effort last. Most companies are successful in achieving their goals for increasing public recognition and sales through these efforts. [18]

2.3 Objectives of the advertising

Advertising objectives are the communication tasks to be accomplished with specific customers that a company is trying to reach during a particular time frame. A company that advertises usually strives to achieve one of four advertising objectives: trial, continuity, brand switching, and switchback. Which of the four advertising objectives is selected usually depends on where the product is in its life cycle.

Trial The purpose of the trial objective is to encourage customers to make an initial purchase of a new product. Companies will typically employ creative advertising strategies in order to cut through other competing advertisements. The reason is simple: Without that first trial of a product by customers, there will not be any re peat purchases.

Continuity Continuity advertising is a strategy to keep current customers using a particular product. Existing customers are targeted and are usually provided new and different information about a product that is designed to build consumer loyalty.

Brand Switching Companies adopt brand switching as an objective when they want customers to switch from competitors' brands to their brands. A common strategy is for a company to compare product price or quality in order to convince customers to switch to its product brand.

Switchback Companies subscribe to this advertising objective when they want to get back former users of their product brand. A company might highlight new product features, price reductions, or other important product information in order to get former customers of its product to switchback. [18]

2.4 Selecting the Right Advertising Approach

Once a company decides what type of specific advertising campaign it wants to use, it must decide what approach should carry the message. A company is interested in a number of areas regarding advertising, such as frequency, media impact, media timing, and reach.

Frequency. Frequency refers to the average number of times that an average consumer is exposed to the advertising campaign. A company usually establishes frequency goals, which can vary for each advertising campaign. For example, a company might want to have the average consumer exposed to the message at least six times during the advertising campaign. This number might seem high, but in a crowded and competitive market repetition is one of the best methods to increase the product's visibility and to increase company sales. The more exposure a company desires for its product, the more expensive the advertising campaign. Thus, often only large companies can afford to have high-frequency advertisements during a campaign.

Media Impact. Media impact generally refers to how effective advertising will be through the various media outlets (e.g., television, Internet, print). A company must decide, based on its product, the best method to maximize consumer interest and awareness. For example, a company promoting a new laundry detergent might fare better with television commercials rather than simple print ads because more consumers are likely to see the television commercial. Similarly, a company such as Mercedes-Benz, which markets expensive products, might advertise in specialty car magazines to reach a high percentage of its potential customers. Before any money is spent on any advertising media, a thorough analysis is done of each one's strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the cost. Once the analysis is done, the company will make the best decision possible and embark on its advertising campaign.

Media Timing. Another major consideration for any company engaging in an advertising campaign is when to run the advertisements. For example, some companies run ads during the holidays to promote season-specific products. The other major consideration for a company is whether it wants to employ a continuous or pulsing pattern of advertisements. Continuous refers to advertisements that are run on a scheduled basis for a given time period. The advantage of this tactic is that an advertising campaign can run longer and might provide more exposure over time. For example, a company could run an advertising campaign for a particular product that lasts years with the hope of keeping the product in the minds of customers. Pulsing indicates that advertisements will be scheduled in a disproportionate manner within a given time frame. Thus, a company could run thirty-two television commercials over a three-or six-month period to promote the specific product is wants to sell. The advantage with the pulsing strategy is twofold. The company could spend less money on advertising over a shorter time period but still gain the same recognition because the advertising campaign is more intense.

Reach. Reach refers to the percentage of customers in the target market who are exposed to the advertising campaign for a given time period. A company might have a goal of reaching at least 80 percent of its target audience during a given time frame. The goal is to be as close to 100 percent as possible, because the more the target audience is exposed to the message, the higher the chance of future sales. [6, p.38-40]

3. Web advertising

It has been suggested that online advertising is currently based on a print media model that is likely to develop into an interactive television model in years to come. Like print media, Web pages are largely text-based and must generally be read. Television, on the other hand, reflects a lower, more passive level of involvement. However, the interactive capabilities of the Internet certainly distinguish it from other media.

Drиze and Zufryden once suggested that the Internet offers unique but largely unexplored opportunities for advertising research that exist in spite of its popularity as a medium for marketing and promoting products and services. Three years is a long time on the Web, with great strides made in online advertising research during that time. Nevertheless, there is still widespread debate over the effectiveness of various Web advertising formats. Amid frequent claims that "the banner is dead", it is interesting to note that banner advertising revenue and the number of sites using banner ads have continued to increase. [12, p.80]

The emphasis of this study is on the application of copy testing methods to banner advertisements appearing on the World Wide Web. It is specifically concerned with the effect on consumer behavior generated by banner ads containing pull-down menus. These are menus accessed by clicking the computer's mouse pointer on an arrow appearing in the advertisement, thereby opening a menu containing further information or links to a specific Web page. Although banner ads are themselves interactive in nature and therefore somewhat unique, the use of pull-down menus adds a further layer of interactivity. Viewers may click on these to obtain more information before being transferred to the advertiser's Web site.

In this paper, a paired comparison approach is used to examine whether banner ads containing pull-down menus are more effective than conventional banner ads in terms of several widely employed advertising copy testing measures. Testable hypotheses are proposed that will provide an insight into the nature of banner advertising that will benefit both online advertisers and advertising researchers alike. [12, p.82]

3.1 Banner Advertising.

The most popular form of advertising on the Internet's World Wide Web is currently banner advertising. A banner (graphic image) and link are displayed on a high traffic web site, in which the people visiting that site (the audience) see when the page loads. This banner commonly advertises a product, service, or just another web site. It can also be used to show someone's point of view on a certain topic (for example, a presidential election).

A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertising on the World Wide Web. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking to the website of the advertiser. The advertisement is constructed from an image (GIF, JPEG, PNG), JavaScript program or multimedia object employing technologies such as Java, Shockwave or Flash, often employing animation, sound, or video to maximize presence. Images are usually in a high-aspect ratio shape (i.e. either wide and short, or tall and narrow) hence the reference to banners. These images are usually placed on web pages that have interesting content, such as a newspaper article or an opinion piece.

Typical web banner, sized 468Ч60 pixels.

The web banner is displayed when a web page that references the banner is loaded into a web browser. This event is known as an "impression". When the viewer clicks on the banner, the viewer is directed to the website advertised in the banner. This event is known as a "click through". In many cases, banners are delivered by a central ad server.

When the advertiser scans their logfiles and detects that a web user has visited the advertiser's site from the content site by clicking on the banner ad, the advertiser sends the content provider some small amount of money (usually around five to ten US cents). This payback system is often how the content provider is able to pay for the Internet access to supply the content in the first place.

Web banners function the same way as traditional advertisements are intended to function: notifying consumers of the product or service and presenting reasons why the consumer should choose the product in question, although web banners differ in that the results for advertisement campaigns may be monitored real-time and may be targeted to the viewer's interests.

Many web surfers regard these advertisements as highly annoying because they distract from a web page's actual content or waste bandwidth. (Of course, the purpose of the banner ad is to attract attention and many advertisers try to get attention to the advert by making them annoying. Without attracting attention it would provide no revenue for the advertiser or for the content provider.) Newer web browsers often include options to disable pop-ups or block images from selected websites. Another way of avoiding banners is to use a proxy server that blocks them, such as Privoxy. [10, p.40-42]

3.1.1 History of banners.

The first clickable web ad (which later came to be known by the term "banner ad") was sold by Global Network Navigator (GNN) in 1993 to Heller, Ehrman, White and McAuliffe, a now defunct law firm with a Silicon Valley office. GNN was the first commercially supported web publication and one of the very first web sites ever.

HotWired was the first web site to sell banner ads in large quantities to a wide range of major corporate advertisers. Andrew Anker was HotWired's first CEO. Rick Boyce, a former media buyer with San Francisco advertising agency Hal Riney & Partners, spearheaded the sales effort for the company. HotWired coined the term "banner ad" and was the first company to provide click through rate reports to its customers. The first web banner sold by HotWired was paid for by AT&T, and was put online on October 25, 1994. Another source also credits Hotwired and October 1994, but has Coors' "Zima" campaign as the first web banner.

In May 1994, Ken McCarthy, an early Internet commercialization pioneer, who mentored Boyce in his transition from traditional to online advertising, first introduced the concept of a clickable/trackable ad. He stated that he believed that only a direct response model--in which the return on investment of individual ads was measured--would prove sustainable over the long run for online advertising.

In spite of this prediction, banner ads were valued and sold based on the number of impressions they generated. This approach to banner ad sales proved successful and provided the economic foundation for the web industry from the period of 1994 to 2000 until the market for banner ads "crashed" and there was a radical revaluation of their value.

The new online advertising model that emerged in the early years of the 21st century, introduced by (later Overture, then Yahoo and mass marketed by Google's AdWords program), closely resembled the pioneer's 1994 projection. [17, p.12-14]

3.1.2 Types of banner advertisings

Though, as seen above, the large majority of online advertising has a cost that is brought about by usage or interaction of an ad, there are a few other methods of advertising online that only require a one time payment. The Million Dollar Homepage is a very successful example of this. Visitors were able to pay $1 per pixel of advertising space and their advert would remain on the homepage for as long as the website exists with no extra costs.

· Floating ad: An ad which moves across the user's screen or floats above the content.

· Expanding ad: An ad which changes size and which may alter the contents of the webpage.

· Polite ad: A method by which a large ad will be downloaded in smaller pieces to minimize the disruption of the content being viewed

· Wallpaper ad: An ad which changes the background of the page being viewed.

· Trick banner: A banner ad that looks like a dialog box with buttons. It simulates an error message or an alert.

· Pop-up: A new window which opens in front of the current one, displaying an advertisement, or entire webpage.

· Pop-under: Similar to a Pop-Up except that the window is loaded or sent behind the current window so that the user does not see it until they close one or more active windows.

· Video ad: similar to a banner ad, except that instead of a static or animated image, actual moving video clips are displayed. This is the kind of advertising most prominent in television, and many advertisers will use the same clips for both television and online advertising.

· Map ad: text or graphics linked from, and appearing in or over, a location on an electronic map such as on Google Maps.

· Mobile ad: an SMS text or multi-media message sent to a cell phone.

In addition, ads containing streaming video or streaming audio are becoming very popular with advertisers.

- Common Banner Ads - Currently the most common type of banner advertising is by showing the banner near the top of the web page. If this is a paid banner it is usually the only banner ad that appears on the page. This type of banner space is usually sold by impressions, or banner views, although it is sometimes sold by click-thru, when the user clicks on the banner for more information.

- Medallion Ads - This type of advertising is newer and not widespread. A column of multiple smaller banners are shown on the side of the web page. Because so many ads appear on a single page, it is usually sold by click-thru only. This type of advertising gives the page designer less room for content, so is usually only used on pages with written articles, such as webzines.

There are two major types of banners, static banners and dynamically-rotated banners. Static Banners do not change, they stay the same to every user, every page load. Dynamically-Rotated Banners can change for each user.

A dynamically-rotated banner is usually a more effective way of advertising, but it requires a program to work, most commonly a .cgi script. With dynamic-rotation, you are able to advertise a different banner to each viewer, therefore you are able to have multiple advertisers, or, mulitiple banners for one advertiser, or any combination. With a static banner, you can only have a single banner, and only a single advertiser for that page. [24, p.36-38]

3.1.3 Uses for Web Banner Advertising

This probably the mostly likely thing that you will use banner advertising for.

· To sell more of your product(s) or service(s).

· To be able to notify buyers of your new product or service, or offer them a special deal/discount.

· To Spread your ideas about a certain topic.

· To get people to remember your company's name! (Incase they wish to have your products or services in the future!)Advertising on the Web with banners means more sales and/or more influence!

Advantages of advertising independently.

Freedom: If you get to choose your own rates, standards, etc you will have better control over the layout of your site. If you are independent you make your own rules.

More Reliable: You ads don't go down unless your site goes down. You won't have to wind up finding a new advertising broker if you current one declares bankruptcy.

More Profitable/Less Expensive: By running your own ads, you will be able to ask more from the person wanting to advertise, yet your asking price will be able to be lower than what your broker/rotator would charge. So you earn more, and the people who wish to advertise will pay less. Everyone is happier.

Disadvantages of independent Advertising.

More Work for you: Getting your own advertisers and maybe customizing the rotator and/or rewriting one can be a real challenge. If you want to be independent, expect to spend much more time working, and maybe even being a little more stressful. (If you saw how much larger your paychecks would be you wouldn't mind that much...)

More Costly to Run: Having a server that is able to handle your rotation scripts may be more expensive then what you currently pay. It is most unlikely to find an free provider that will allow you to run these simple (yet complex) scripts. [28, p.39-41]

3.2 Copy Testing Banner Advertisements

Copy testing is widely used in the advertising industry to assess the effectiveness of a particular advertisement or campaign. Traditional copy testing research methods generally involve exposing consumers to an advertisement and then soliciting responses afterward. Early copy testing methods predominantly used recall as the most important measure of advertising effectiveness. However, multiple measures have been used in more recent years, including recall, recognition, personality, brand image, purchase intent, persuasion, liking, main point communication/playback, and awareness. These measures are based upon models of consumer behavior (such as the AIDA - attention, interest, desire, action - framework) that suggest consumers may pass through cognitive, affective, and behavioral stages in response to a stimulus.

To determine banner ad effectiveness, four copy-testing measures will be employed in this research: 1) attention, 2) novelty, 3) liking, and 4) persuasion. It has been argued that the constructs of attention and novelty are important factors in creating effective advertisements. Researchers have also claimed that measures of likability and persuasion represent a successful combination of copy testing measures that can be used for predicting the likely success of an advertisement.

3.2.1 Novelty

One of the more common means of attracting and holding a consumer's attention is by creating a novel structural execution for the advertisement. In other words, the creative copy should use distinctive, unusual, or unpredictable devices. In this way, it is possible to draw consumers' attention not only to the advertisement, but also to key visual and verbal information. The relative absence of banner ads on the Web that use pull-down menus implies a degree of novelty in itself. Consumers may attend to and click on these ads because of their unusual structure, newness, or novelty value. It is therefore hypothesized that. Banner advertisements that contain pull-down menus will result in significantly higher novelty responses than banner ads containing no pull-down menus.

3.2.2 Effect on Click-Through

Given the expectation that banner ads containing pull-down menus will result in higher attention, novelty, liking, and persuasion scores, it is reasonable to expect that they would be more likely to initiate consumer action in the form of clicking on the banner than static banner ads. Hence. Banner advertisements that contain pull-down menus will result in significantly higher click-through rates than banner ads containing no pull-down menus.

3.2.3 Sampling and Data Collection

The sample for this research was comprised of undergraduate and postgraduate students of an east coast Australian university who had completed or were currently enrolled in an Internet Marketing course at the university in 1999. The logic underlying the choice of sample was that this group would be most likely to respond to an e-mailed invitation to participate in the research. Because the stimulus was a banner ad, it was also essential to use participants who had Internet access for the study. Participants were informed in the class that they would be receiving an e-mailed request to participate in the research within the next week. Additionally, it was reasonable to assume that they would be more comfortable with World Wide Web technology and research than non-Web users.

Three hundred and fifty-six e-mail messages were sent to prospective respondents, requesting them to visit a specified Web address and read the information provided there. Following the reading of this information, respondents were asked to complete an online questionnaire. One hundred and ninety-six people responded to the e-mail requests giving a response rate of 55.1%.

3.2.4 Discussion

This study was developed as a means of copy testing banner advertisements in terms of their attention, novelty, likability, and persuasion effects. Evidence has already suggested that banner ads contribute to brand awareness and brand strength. This may be due, in part, to the sheer publicity effect of advertising. However, copy testing different banner ad formats may offer a unique opportunity to determine their advertising effectiveness or lack thereof. The limited presence of banner ads using pull-down menus on the Web may be construed in one of two ways: 1) they are simply less effective than conventional banner ads and this is reflected in their minority use, or 2) they are slow to be recognized as advertisements that are more effective. Overall, the results of this study provide considerable support for the latter, with the outcome suggesting that banner ads with pull-down menus result in significantly higher scores on the copy testing variables utilized.

As expected, banner ads with pull-down menus are viewed as more novel and tend to attract more attention than static banners. This is not surprising given the comparatively unique structural format of ads containing pull-downs menus. Results from Hypothesis 3 suggest that banner ads containing pull-down menus are more liked than those without them are. One explanation for this may be that the increased informational content of the advertisement is preferred by consumers. This is consistent with other research by Greene and Biel and Bridgewater which produced similar conclusions, albeit in different media. Further research is needed to replicate the findings; however, the likability of pull-down banner ads is strongly supported by the data.

Click-through rate is an important factor in online advertising with many firms' billing now based on clicks generated rather than the conventional cost-per-thousand exposures (CPM) model. The data suggest that banner ads that use pull-down menus are more likely to be clicked on than static banner ads; hence, advertisers would be advised to use this format more frequently. It is evident that the click-through rates of both groups of respondents are very high when compared with commercial advertising click-through rates. These fluctuate depending upon Web site and page placement with the norm around 2%. They are rarely higher than 10% and the inflated result of this study may be a consequence of respondents' awareness that this was a research project. They may thus have directed more attention to the advertisement than would otherwise have been the case. However, the difference in click-through between the two groups was still statistically significant, and suggests that the pull-down format is more effective than using conventional, static banner ads.

3.2.5 Practical Implication

The results obtained from this study lend weight to the argument that banner ads with pull-down menus provide a better alternative to conventional, static banner advertising. They offer consumers the means of gaining more product information without having to leave a Web site and are clicked on more than conventional banners, thereby focusing greater attention on these ads. Although they are still relatively simplistic, like much current Web advertising, these types of banner ad may mark the first steps in a new online advertising paradigm that is based on providing detailed, personalized information to the consumer.

As a communication tool, advertisers, agencies, and researchers should consider the benefits of using pull-down menus in more banner ads. Future developments should bear in mind the informational aspect of banner ads and their potential for providing important and more detailed information before taking consumers away from their current Web site. In addition, it is clear that the novelty impact of these types of banner advertisements can strongly influence click-through rate and this benefit is probably being under-exploited in the online advertising industry. The banner ad may be much maligned as a form of creative advertising, but it is likely to be with us for some time yet as bandwidth limitations are still impeding the delivery of high quality moving images and sound similar to television. Advertisers should capitalize on the most effective means of utilizing this communication vehicle, which may well involve the use of pull-down menus as a prominent promotional tool. [10, p.40-48]

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