Tips for Online Media Creative and Placement

January 10, 2008 by  

I know it’s been out more than a month, but I really love this PC vs Mac video. Not because of Windows bashing, but the creativity of the media buy.

Look carefully, these linked ad units appeared on a Microsoft Vista page on It has since been taken down and Microsoft advertising currently appears. (I imagine there were a few grumpy phone calls made to come to a compromise or long term commitment.)

Regardless, it’s a great reminder. Often times, I’ve seen account and creative folks design ads for the lowest common denominator so they can fit the broadest number of properties and media units. In this example, it’s obvious the agency took time to think about where the creative would appear, capabilities of linking ad units to come of with an awesome (yet short-lived) execution that got impressions and buzz.

It’s a good reminder to:

  • Involve media and creative early in the media planning and creative process.
  • Review each media property to assess whether your ad unit will be complementary in their respective layouts.
  • Always design with the target audience in mind.
  • Explore non-traditional units.
  • Dare to be edgy or potentially generate some buzz.
  • Secure non-competitive placements on sensitive brand pages. It will cost more to lock it down and requires a long term commitment, but let the client decide if it’s worth embarrassment. (And make sure you have that in writing.)
  • Float the concept around to a few folks to make sure it’s as cool an idea as you think it is.

I’ve worked on many campaigns where we release over a hundred individual units in order to take advantage of the nuances of individual media properties. I admit that it becomes challenging to manage (requires good organizational skills and QC testing); and yes we do create some common units that don’t require customization. Ultimately we may also make tradeoffs based on ROI forecast or budget constraints.

Regardless, do your due diligence and always try to think different.



2 Responses to “Tips for Online Media Creative and Placement”
  1. I love these Mac commercials! They are brilliant. My daughter asks if we have the good computer or the bad one. We do have PCs, but I have to say I am seriously considering a Mac the next time I need to replace one.

  2. Hi Kim,
    I agree… Apple has been very clever with this campaign series. Little jabs that dig at the things that drive Windows users nuts.

    I still use Windows for work, but at home, we’ve switched the family over to Macs and OS X exclusively. It just works. Less headaches = more time to deal with family stuff.

    Thanks for the comment.