10 Insanely Clickable Banner Ads

It’s no secret that at one in 1,000, the average click-through rate for banner ad is rather pitiful. Think of other things with similar probabilities. For instance, over the course of your life, you have a one in 3,000 chance of getting struck by lightning.

Despite the challenging odds, a few intrepid ad executives still see banners as promising terrain. The fact that display ads are often seen as a backwater controlled by direct-response marketers doesn’t daunt such modern day Mad Men, who think they can redefine the medium and, yes, even get readers to click.

The 10 examples below show that banners need not be boring.

1. Ikea

To make the case that you can fit a lot of Ikea products in your house or apartment, the Swedish furniture giant ran a banner in April that featured 2,800 items.

2. Nissan’s Househunter Test Drive

This innovative program in Dubai combined data from house-hunting site Dubizzle to automatically suggest a Nissan for you based on your budget, neighborhood and family size.

3. Cadbury Dairy Mlik’s “Thanks a Million”

To celebrate reaching 1 million fans on Facebook, Cadbury constructed a giant chocolate thumbs up. This banner on Facebook let fans contribute by clicking to add chocolate to the sculpture.

4. Smart: The First Commercial on Twitter

The Smart car in Argentina and agency BBDO Argentina in April launched a banner ad powered by tweets on the brand’s Twitter page. The ad was composed of 456 140-character tweets, which created the image of an animated car moving through the city.

5. Acura’s Wired.com Ad

Text and images on Wired.com morphed into an Acura in this 2010 ad.

6. Apple, Part I

The U.K. version of Apple’s “Mac Vs. PC” ad featured this banner banter.

7. Apple, Part II

The U.S. Mac Vs. PC guys banter and interact with The New York Times‘s homepage in 2009.

8. Stride’s Ridiculously Long-Lasting Banner Ad

Stride and agency JWT played on the gum’s “ridiculously long-lasting” claim with this ad, which challenged fans to keep their cursor on a “click here” button despite distracting cat videos and other impediments.

9. Ikea II

Ikea, known for its DIY assembly, let users put together their own banner ad.

10. Met LIfe’s “Play Like Schroeder”

This ambitious ad for Met Life let you try to play the piano like The Peanuts’ Schroeder by touching your keyboard at roughly the speed he plays.