Monday, November 3, 2008

Poor Microsoft Banner Ad

I'll refrain from excoriating Microsoft and CPB for their utterly uncreative and boring television campaign, given the thousands of bloggers who have already done so weeks ago. But I would like to excoriate Microsoft and CPB for the banner currently running on the Yahoo home page. The ad is made up of a bunch of thumbnails of people's faces, and runs across the page. It's completely static, so it really doesn't grab your attention as a banner in that position should.

It's the copy, however, that really bothered me. I had to read the line three times to understand it, due to several copy flaws. First, it's set in all caps, which is generally hard to read. Second, they use an apostrophe to indicate the plural of "PC," which, while understandable, could have been made more legible by setting the "S" in small caps. Third is the confusion introduced by referring to "Real PCs" as "who." Given this pronoun, I assume they mean the people, rather than the PCs, but this conclusion is not an obvious one. Lastly is the phrase "got on TV." I tripped up over the final words twice, and I still am not sure I understand what they mean. In what respect did these people get on TV?

The only redeeming part about this ad is the interactivity of the banner. Each individual square picture is clickable (and programmed with their own rollover action). That's pretty cool, considering most Flash banners have only a handful of distinct clickable areas. The problem is, the payoff for clicking is unimpressive. Just a five second clip of the person saying, "I'm a PC, and I love ____." Booooring.

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