World's first banner ad still performs really well.


Remember the AT&T "You will" campaign? The one that had the worlds first banner ad with it? We celebrated its tenth birthday, almost ten years ago here (gasp!) and with any luck we'll be cheering in Jolt Cola next year for the 20th too. The first site to run that ad was Hotwired, and the campaign began on October 24, 1994, when the internet as we know it was still in diapers. Dan Barker decided to test how this ad performs today, so he ran it again. It performed really well. Not as well as the original run did, according to mashable that got an astonishing 44% clickthrough rate, numbers unheard of today.

As you can see there, it started off slow & built up a little bit. If you look closely, you can also see that the CTR (‘clickthrough rate’) stayed consistently over 3%. I’ve picked out the highest performing day there in the little callout box. As you can see, it got a massive 1.10% clickthrough rate on the Saturday.

0.74% would not normally sound impressive, but it’s hugely impressive remembering that this format has an average clickthrough rate today of just 0.04%.

That means it performed 18.5x as well as (or put another way 17.5x better than) the average 0.04% clickthrough rate for this format. Or, in other words: Well done to the designer, Joe McCambley. Almost 20 years after he designed the ad, it performed 1,750% better than the average for its format.

For the record, the "Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE?" ad was created for Modem Media/AT&T by TANGENT Design/Communications of Westport, CT.

Principal Creators:
Copywriter: Joe McCambley, Creative Director, Modem Media
Graphic Design: Craig Kanarick, Associate, TANGENT Design (pre-razorfish)
Executive Producer & Art Director: Otto Timmons, VP, TANGENT Design
Contributors: Brent Hood, CEO, TANGENT Design

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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