Why Your Clients’ Banner Ads Should Make Consumers See Red

Fri Mar 20, 2015

Kathy Crosett

You’ve talked with your clients about how much advertising to purchase. ??????????????????Maybe you’ve already indicated when their banner ads should appear on your online publication. But, have you advised them on the content and color of their ads? Doing so could drastically improve results according a new Rocket Fuel study.

Over a 6-month period, Rocket Fuel analysts studied specific elements of 30,000+ banner ads and published their results in the Rocket Fuel Guide to Creative Optimization. During this study, analysts aimed to discover which banner ad elements would drive the highest rates of user interaction. Here are the details your clients should be paying attention to.

Background Color

Researchers measured a 31% higher conversion rate for ads which possessed a red background color.  Consumers also showed preference for banner ads with orange (28% higher) and yellow (24% higher) backgrounds.


Animation in banner ads can be tricky. More than one study has shown that animation has a negative effect on CTRs. However, animated banner ads actually drive a 7% increase in CONVERSION RATES for most verticals. But the devil is in the details. Animation cycles that run for too long turn off consumers. Researchers detected that the optimal length of an animation cycle is 6-9 seconds. In this study, analysts noted that the insurance and home and garden industries were most likely to use animation.

Human Faces

It’s long been known that including puppies and babies in visual marketing materials impacts viewer emotions. But, for banner ads, the biggest increases in conversions rates, +102%, are linked to showing a man’s face. By comparison, the image of a woman’s face drives a 25% increase in conversions while showing both men and women are linked to a 15% drop.

Products and Logos

Remind your clients that consumers want to see what is being promoted. Your client could experience a 5% increase in conversions by showing the product in use during a banner ad. The same holds true for including a logo in a banner ad. More consumers convert via ads which feature logos, especially when the logo is placed in the lower left corner of the ad.

Before you rush the client’s campaign out the door, review these details with key decision makers. Remind them they only have one chance to make a first impression so they should strive to get it just right.

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett