Banner ads as conversational marketing: danish newpaper BT case

  • Jon Lund 

What is conversational marketing? In my last posting I claimed that dialogue doesn’t have to be neither verbal nor written – that interaction in itself can make an ad conversational.

Surely this is a rather “soft” way of addressing the issues. Do I make the term “dialogue” to vague; isn’t everything dialogue or conversation if you put it this way?

I don’t think so. But granted: it broadens up the scope of good marketing, and allows you to see the potentials of non-blog-based marketing activities.

One little – not remarkable or even revolutionary, just nice and well-implemented example I stubled across the other day – was this rectangle-shaped banner-ad with a football.

The ball jumped up and down in the banner – and when placing your mouse in the banner, your curser became a foot, with which you could kick the ball by clicking the mouse. A counter started keeping track of how many times you could “kick” the ball without missing it, noting your high scores in the banner.

The banner text urged me to sign up for a subscription to a Danish (sports) newspaper. And after having kicked the ball around for a few times, I found myself clicking the “subscribe here button” turning the banner into a subscription form.

What’s nice here is that the ad offers me a chance to entertain myself for a few moments, bringing me a free little game with relevance to the subject of the ad: sports. It doesn’t trap me into signing up, it doesn’t try to convince me that the magazine should be the best – it simply tells me: here I am, try my game, and sign up for a subscription if you feel like it.

Of course the newspaper could engage in much more subtle and advanced forms of dialogue-oriented marketing. It could setup online competition on sports events, offering free subscriptions as rewards e.g. Or it could set up sportsblogs have their journalist giving informal tips and news not available in the printed version. But as an ad, the banner was fine in itself.

Think this was interesting? You might also like my “We AID – a marketing paradigm for the usercentered era” and my followup: “Conversation is (inter-)action”.

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