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How to Avoid Making Ugly Banner Ads That Are Annoying as Kimmy Gibbler on Speed. You know, Full House—aka best show ever except for that menacing Kimmy. Any way, in order to prevent your target market from shrieking in horror and retreating from your banner as soon as possible, we are going to go over a few tips on how to create and design the best display ads.

Be Concise

Like a billboard, you don’t have much space with which to express the gamut of your emotions—or gamut of words explaining your product, deal, promotion, brand, etc, etc, etc. See how I went on and on right there? It’s annoying isn’t it? Well your ad will be annoying to your target market if you barrage them with words (or photos or flashing anything). Basically, don’t go overkill. The more concise and clear you can be, the better.


good display banner ad


bad display banner ad

Think about what is the most pertinent information to include, and if you have some room for creativity then go for it. But don’t go for it too much and always try to . . .


This is a close cousin to being concise. Just as display ads can go overboard with words, they can also go overboard with images and overall design. We have all heard “less is more,” but unfortunately some people designing display ads didn’t get that memo. So I’ll give you the memo right here and now. Less is more. Don’t confuse creativity with the amount of crap you can put in your ad. If you are trying to cram five different fonts and fading and effects and 10 images into a little box, this is a very bad thing. My case in point:


simple display banner ad


complicated display banner ad

Lose The Extra Punctuation!!!

Something that you don’t need to get your point across is crazy exclamation points. You know, those ones you type when you are really excited!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes. Stop yelling at me. Make the world a happier place and rid your ad of extra punctuation.


clean display banner ad


cluttered display banner ad

If you still aren’t sure about how not to make annoying display ads, this may be obvious, but just think about what ads you do and don’t like. Think about what you are most attracted to as a consumer and go from there. Unless you love ads with dancing monkeys juggling bananas to circus music—and if this is the case then don’t trust yourself about anything and seek immediate medical assistance—you probably have a decent gauge for annoying.

Now that you are annoying-ad-proof, read an article on Banner Ad Requirements to review technical requirements. If you would like to learn more about display ads, Exact Drive, or sitcom characters from the ‘90s, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Topics: Banner Ads

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.