Banner Ad Hot Seat: Aquapunk and Thor’s Thundershack
This is the second of a series of Hot Seat critiques of banner ads. These will take the same format of all of the Hot Seat critiques. I will kick off the discussion with some of my thoughts and then open the conversation up to the members.
Please check out this post about banner advertising to get an idea of my personal philosophy on banner advertising.
As always, links are in the headers.
This ad is really, really strong. The colors work beautifully together. The typography is stylized without being hard-to-read. The visual is equally stylized and dominates the area.
It’s just not done yet.
It has no message — unless you count the visual message that says, “I can draw like Mike Mignola.”
And although I mean that as a heartfelt compliment, it’s really a disservice because I’m sure Aquapunk is so much more than that.
You need a written message: A tagline… a motto… a clever phrase…
You need to give an uninterested observer a compelling reason to click.
You need a declaration. Right now, it’s little more than decoration.
This ad needs some serious work.
The visual is a jumbled mess of images that don’t seem to have anything to do with one another. I can’t really focus on any one thing, and as a result, I’m able to focus on nothing. That background might just as well be static. It has absolutely no usefulness.
…Unless you count obscurring type at smaller sizes. That’s something it excels at. I can hardly read the second line of type. If I came across this ad on a page, I wouldn’t slow down to strain myself to do so.
But if I did, here’s what I’d get as my reward:
“A webcomic. I dunno, read it, you might as well.”
That’s… that’s not much of a message. It’s certainly not a compelling reason to click the ad.
BACK TO BASICS
This is a gag-a-day comic. There are no recurring characters, and there’s no storyline.
Think of the ad as if it were a single-panel comic. Give me one image and then one line of type — something really funny — and then stop. There is no third thing.
That’s the ad for something like this.
If the user responds to the humor, they’ll click the link, and when they do, they’ll (hopefully) find more of the same kind of humor that appeals to them. That’s a success.