Interview: Mads Buch Stage of Se Mor! about the Click-to-Fullscreen ad for Boxer TV
Everyone likes a creative, Rich Media banner. It’s simple math — if users like the ad and engage with it, it performs well and makes everyone in the cycle happy. The client is happy because the campaign goals are achieved and the budget is well spent, the creative agencies are satisfied because the client is happy, and so on...
This was exactly the case with a campaign by Boxer TV Denmark and a very nice banner produced by Danish creative bureau Se Mor!. We have interviewed Partner and Concept Developer Mads Buch Stage of Se Mor to learn more about the campaign and that incredible click-to-fullscreen ad.
Now that we’ve all seen the ad, what was the actual objective of this campaign?
Channel TV 2 has up until now been a free public service channel, but on 11 January 2012, it changed into a regular payment-only channel, which presents an incredible opportunity for Boxer TV to acquire new customers.
How did you come up with this banner/solution?
The idea behind the campaign was to show everybody what would happen to TV 2 if they don’t do anything.
Were you inspired by something or somebody to create this particular banner/solution?
The main inspiration was actually old analog TVs and the way they look when they aren’t working properly. We tried the more modern approach, which is simply a black screen, but it didn’t communicate well enough; something wasn’t working.
By using the fullscreen function, the banner momentarily gives the impression that your computer has stopped working, which creates a really nice shock effect, something that wouldn’t be possible within the regular banner boundaries.
How did you expect the banner to perform? Was click-through the main goal of the banner?
We expected the banner to perform above average, because we felt that the idea and the execution had a lot of potential — and it did. We have done several other interactive banners in the past and the added investment (well-done interactivity is more expensive than a simple, looping banner) almost always pays off.
The main goal was not click-throughs to Boxer’s site, but to get as many as possible to take the test.
Did it go as planned? Do you have any insights to share with us?
Everything went mostly as planned, but, as always, when you try something new (as far as we know, fullscreen in a banner has never been tried before — at least in Denmark), you have to expect problems, so we made sure that the creatives were ready well in advance so we had time to test them (which turned out to be a really good thing!) and give Maxus the needed time to persuade the different sites to allow the banner.
From your experience, what is more important, the creative idea or the technology behind it (execution)?
First of all, we don’t see technology and execution as being the same thing. Execution can have some part of technology in it, sure, but it also contains a lot of other things, like visual design, copywriting, etc.
With that said, we feel that the idea and the execution are more important than the technology. A couple of years ago, I saw a banner for a car manufacturer which had a3D cube with pictures of the car on all sides of it. This was cutting-edge Flash technology at the time, but it didn’t tell you anything at all about the car. That, to us, is a bad idea and terrible execution that the technology couldn’t make up for.
That doesn’t mean that the technology is unimportant. To get the best ideas and to execute them well, you need a good understanding of the available technologies and how to apply them; but technology is the means with which to deliver a message, not the message itself.
That also goes for this banner. If something stupid happens when the user clicks the test button, both the site and Boxer will end up with a lot of ill will. It doesn’t matter that we tell the user afterwards that it was the first time fullscreen was used — they don’t care; they want something that works and that entertains or provides some kind of value.
What was the role of Adform in this campaign when it comes to the creative and technical parts?
Adform was very helpful getting the fullscreen banner to work within their system. Since it was the first time, there was no pre-made template for it.
Are you satisfied with what you achieved with this campaign? What about the client?
Yes, very much so. We had a creative idea, the client immediately recognised the potential (which is rare), we executed it to the best of our ability and the users received it well.
In the end, 3.4 per cent of the unique users who saw the banner also initiated the test.
What do you think will be the new trend in digital creativity in 2012?
HTML5 is certainly shaping up to take on Flash when it comes to creative campaigns, but as of yet, there are no really good, visual tools to create HTML5, which makes it very hard for designers to jump into HTML5. Until that happens, I think Flash will be the king of banners, but I am sure that other such tools are right around the corner.