Saturday, November 12, 2011

A hard-working online ad that knows what it's doing

Here's a first: I actually found an online ad I like that targets SMEs.

Below are three screen caps from for an animated ad from global business bank HSBC.

It's a simple ad, eye-catching and innovative, that incorporates strong words and great graphics. Here's what I like about it:

* The colorful images of the nesting matryoshka dolls stand out nicely against a generous white background. Once you notice them, you can't help but see that they represent a number of cultures - not just the Russian folk costumes you'd expect to see. A very creative concept, well executed.

* As you admire the dolls, the bank tosses us a strong headline: "In the future, there will be no markets left waiting to emerge." It's a great example of thought leadership, getting you thinking about the successful growth of so many markets once called "developing countries." But the cleverness of the line makes you ponder - perhaps for the first time - that there is a limited number of fast-growth emerging nations. So perhaps it's time your business explored those markets.

* The final sell line "HSBC's on-the-ground experience can support your emerging trade needs" does many things. It points to the bank's competitive advantage (its worldwide branch network), and offers a specific benefit (personalizing the message with the all-important word "your"). Finally, it ties the message together by repeating the word "emerging." You rarely see such hard-working copy on the Net.

* Finally, there's a direct appeal to click on the ad "to find out more." Many online marketers fail to include that call to action, although research shows that requesting people to take action significantly increases the chance that they'll actually do so.

Good to see an advertiser that takes their work so seriously.