Busting Banner Ad Myths

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Our love and respect for banner ads are unsurpassed. Some would even say legendary. (We do, at least!) But every so often, we’re approached with banner ad requests based on misconceptions that would only undermine our very valuable and capable banner friends. There are so many things we could address here but we’ve chosen to highlight some of the key points where confusion seems to lurk regarding banner ads and digital campaigns. Alongside the banner ad myths, we’ve injected some banner truths, and some actions you can take instead to best combat the banner ad myths in your own creatives. So, without further ado, peruse at your pleasure the top four banner ad myths we’re busting!


Myth 1: Banners can use the same assets as your print or TV placements.

Truth: Dwell times for print is around 5 seconds but in the digital world, we’re lucky to grab and hold attention for a maximum of 2 seconds. Your banner ad has to be punchy, quick, and able to be completely digested whether the user sees the whole ad or one solitary frame.


  • Keep your logo on every.single.frame.
  • Utilize short and sweet copy
  • Ensure every frame can be understood without the context of the unit

Myth 2: Only clickthroughs drive sales.

Truth: We don’t like to use all caps but if there was one place that we would to show how emphatic we feel about something, it would be this point. The efficacy of banners doesn’t come down to their CTRs! BBDO published a paper that found “. . . despite CTRs of 0.1% or less, banners have been shown to result in 27% online and 17% offline dollar sales lifts.”


  • Use your banners to support and enforce your brand and product in the client’s mind
  • Utilize your branded assets to the maximum
  • Start thinking of your digital banner ads as vehicles to drive brand recall and awareness rather than just units to collect clicks and sales

Myth 3: Retargeting is the answer to all of your sales-driven hopes and dreams

Truth: Retargeting is effective, obviously. We won’t/can’t argue with you there! However, there is a caveat to this. When done inappropriately (ie. a static image) or at too high of a frequency, retargeting ads do one thing: annoy/infuriate your customers. Yikes.


Animate! Instead of pouring all of your creative juices into an initial creative route and serving static retargeting ads, spread some of that creative genius around and serve multiple creative routes based on your client’s place in the purchase journey. That way you get to retarget but your customers don’t have to see the same static ads follow them around everywhere! Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?!

Myth 4: One day, you’ll find that secret formula for the ultimate, perfect, and otherworldly banner ad to end all other banner ads.

Truth: C’mon guys. We’re living in the ‘Age of Instagram’. We all know that as soon as anything is done more than a few times the same way, it stops being cool, trendy, or even worth talking about. And that’s the same with online ads. When banners start getting formulaic that means they’re old, boring, tired, and no longer interesting.


  • Animate! Animate! Animate!
  • Utilize branded assets in new ways
  • Incorporate interesting frame transitions, text animations, and product placement that will stand out
  • Aim for bold and impactful creatives, rather than sticking too rigidly to “well, we’ve always . . .”

And that’s four banner ad myths busted wide open!

Pro tip: This is part of a much larger, skillfully presented presentation that is available for any interested agency or team! We offer this training free of charge, from the comfort of your own boardrooms. And if you want to take it to the next level, get some pizza up in there. Lunch n’ learns are so hot right now and can’t you just picture it?! The Bannermen busting banner myths, your whole team learning and munching on pizza, all the while gathering justifiable, quantifiable info to take to your clients. That’s just how we do here at The Bannermen.

Get in touch now to nab a presentation slot!