Design | 06 MIN READ

Best display ad campaign of 2018

Here at Bannerflow, helping marketing teams worldwide create their best display ad campaigns is in our DNA.

Indeed, we like to think the majority of campaigns built via our platform are brilliant – yet, sometimes a few campaigns rise above the rest. And that’s what this blog celebrates!

How did we select 2018’s best display ad campaign?

Choosing the top banner campaign of 2018 was no easy task.

Together, the Customer Success and Operations teams made the deciding votes. The reason? These teams know our customers and display advertising in general inside out. They have their collective fingers on the pulse.

Customer Success focused on issues of aesthetics, performance, and brand awareness. While the Operations team looked at the level of complexity, and technical issues, for example, how the banner weight was kept down. Plus, the creative use of widgets and HTML5 animations.

Selected campaigns were then put before a panel of internal judges, which rated each contribution on a scale of 1-10 based on the same merits. The campaign with the highest total won the award.

And the winner?

The Bannerflow 2018’s best display ad campaign went to Icelandic Telecom brand Nova, for its innovative December 2018 campaign.

Bannerflow interview with Nova Designer, Kjartan Oddason

The Bannerflow Team recently sat down with Nova, Designer Kjartan Oddason to discuss his winning ad campaign.

Kjartan interview Nova Bannerflow: best display ad

Out of the millions of banners produced in Bannerflow yours was deemed the top, how does that make you feel?

A bit proud. It’s an awesome feeling.

Tell us about the winning design, what was the purpose of this campaign?

It started as a concept series, where we took artists and tried to promote them and their music via our brand. It’s a really personal concept and we wanted to do it and get it out there really quick.

We’ve been using lesser known artists with really good music. So connecting people with their music via a [Spotify] playlist was really good. With one click people can hear the music they’re going to hear at the [sponsored] concert. It was pretty neat for the people receiving the ad to be able to do that.

We just wanted to make something fun.

Which design challenges were the most satisfying to solve?

The widgets really helped us with the playlist. With the [Spotify] widget we could just add the playlist easily to the banner design.

We’ve used other features previously too. We have used the snow feature for Christmas banners, scrolling banners, moving banners, etc. You’re always putting it in, seeing how it works, and trying it – it’s a simple feature to use.

Were the assets built exclusively for the ad?

We made them especially for this campaign. It’s a special brand, so we played around and did something.

Our media guy went to a small studio and recorded her, made sure the background was purple and that was that.

How does Nova’s marketing team work? Is ad production now in-house?

We a have a marketing team, I’m the graphic designer, one media guy, one person who manages the website, but we also have an ad agency that works with us. The video you saw in the banner that was produced with them. And they will also use Bannerflow for the benefit of our projects too.

How did you build banners before you had Bannerflow?

I mostly did it. It was just me who built the banners.

I used to create a lot in Adform then if you wanted to make it crisp, I’d use vectors, and code with HTML the background and foreground pictures – which was tedious work.

And what is it like building banners now?

It’s fun to do it now. All the things that take away from the creativity are now easy, like changing one letter, rectifying mistakes, or if you want to change the wording. You just focus on how it is going to appear.

Plus, it’s really easily a/b test the creatives and all the things like that.

Did you a/b test this particular campaign?

No, not with this particular campaign as it was very short. Because this campaign was related to an event we controlled, it wasn’t a complex campaign.

In the campaign you have two different versions of the banners: one says “buy a ticket” and the other “sold out”. Why is that?

Nova best display ads Bannerflow side-by-side

Yes because we changed it. We found out the concert was sold out and had two hours to change the creative. So I just went into Bannerflow and changed the text after the ad had been published. We were promoting the price, plus “buy now”, so we changed the CTA so that it went to a blog (another landing page) which described the event. But then I changed the other one back because we didn’t want it to say sold out!

We couldn’t do this as easily before Bannerflow. Swapping out would have meant turning it off and publishing a new banner. We made the decision on the fly and it’s really awesome.

It’s why we’re trying to get our ad agency to use the Bannerflow platform! [Previously,] we have been using Hype to make the banners and send them to  Adform but then we have found it difficult to manage the banners and change things.

Has Bannerflow allowed you to be more creative with your ad campaigns?

Yes, because it makes you want to be creative! When your building ads and you have to do so many boring things, which aren’t connected to creativity, like fixing things, saving, exporting and checking, making sure the different sizes are ok, you just get tired of it and get bored of the project. But now with Bannerflow, you can use so much more of your time, perfecting how it looks and what the feeling is – it’s a massive improvement.

When working on the design, which tools  – other than Bannerflow – do you use?

I’ll draw the vectors in illustrator. I use that a lot to sketch. I also just like to draw the idea on paper of course. It’s really important to sketch out first. You’re so restricted when you use a computer, it inhibits the flow of what you can do. Everything is so perfect with the computer and then with paper and pen, there is imperfectness, which is good.

Nova sketch best display ad campaign

Sketching means I can see how the concept fits. Testing different line sizes and ratios, etc.

Do you have a favourite feature of Bannerflow?

It’s nice to have the creative assets all in one place. I love having just one place where everything is stored. Somewhere that is centralised and you can update everything at once. The fact that you can make one fix and it fixes all your connected ads that are live – and the fact that everyone who works in Bannerflow sees the same thing, is pretty useful.

We tried the scheduling features and that’s also really nice to use – we’ll be using it more. And also analytics – it’s really fun looking at your ads. What’s more, the messaging in Bannerflow is more clear than say Adform, which shows you more clearly what is actually happening.

Plus, we’re looking forward to trying the whole range of HTML5 widgets. You can do everything with it and that’s what is so nice with Bannerflow.

Finally, since you started using Bannerflow, where have you seen the most radical shifts in how you work?

We make more banners! We can cover more ground, and we increase where we can put banners. It’s easier to create the different sizes in less time than we did before. Plus, we can try ads for Facebook sometimes.

Now one person can do it all!

Thank you Kjartan, it’s been great to talk display ads with you!

What to know more?

Kjartan and the team at Nova have benefited immensely from moving their display advertising production to Bannerflow.

If you would like to find out more about our creative management platform and the benefits it can bring to your marketing team, apply for a premium trial now!

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