Market, Sell, Educate & Inspire. An Editorial and Design Email Newsletter from Canright Communications of Chicago.

Get Inspired


"Art is knowing what to leave out."
 –Anonymous

What We're Reading, Watching, and Listening To:

AYA recommends:
The Tao of Pooh
By Benjamin Hoff

Perfect Pitch
By Jon Steel

CHRISTINA recommends:
Bit Literacy
By Mark Hurst

“35 People Who Inspire Us”
Reader’s Digest,
May 2008

COLLIN recommends:
“Nomads at Last, A Special Report on Mobility”
The Economist

Mars Audiac Quintet
Stereolab

DOUG recommends:
Amethyst Beach: Meditations
By Barbara Merritt

“Letter from China: Crazy English, the national scramble to learn a new language before the Olympics”
By Evan Osnos

KAREN recommends:
Julia and Julia
By Julie Powell

The Chicago Diner Cookbook
By Chef Jo A. Kaucher

Dan in Real Life
Directed by Peter Hedges

The Midnight Organ Fright
Frightened Rabbit

LUKASZ recommends:
MUTO:
An Ambiguous Animation
By Blu

Burning Off Impurities
Grail

MICHAEL recommends:
We All Belong
Dr. Dog

Gig:
Americans Talk About Their Jobs
Edited by John Bowe, Marisa Bowe, Sabin Streeter

STEVE recommends:
Delicious Seitan

Don Quixote
By Miguel de Cervantes

MAY 2008
Road Maps to Help You Respond to that Complicated RFP

Request for Proposal.
Request for Quote.
Bid Request.

Whatever you’ve received, it’s an opportunity to sell. But the document is complex, a puzzle. That’s where Canright Communications can help. Canright will review RFPs, identify key issues, and recommend timelines for you to use in managing your response – all for $650.

To receive this benefit, call Collin Canright or Christina Canright by close of business on Friday, May 30. (RFPs must be 50 pages or less to qualify for this price. If yours is longer, we’ll negotiate a price you’ll like.)

What’s Inside

Banner Ads' Effectiveness Lies in the Words, Not the Art
Banner ads on the Web are like billboards on the highway. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they work – and their effectiveness means they’re here to stay. READ MORE>

Mobile Web Opens up New Stage for Content Marketing
Take an iPhone, web-enabled Blackberry, Treo, Q, or other phone and examine a website on its screen. Incredulous as you might be, the tiny screen that you’ll be looking at a tiny screen is the stage for the next big platform expansion on the Internet. Meet the "mobile web." READ MORE>

Personnel
Canright is delighted to introduce two additions to the Canright staff. READ MORE>

Milestones
Canright Communications helped Panduit Corp prepare a white paper comparing methods to maintain polarity across fiber optic connections in large data centers. READ MORE>

For North American operations of Ex Libris, a Jerusalem-based worldwide supplier of library automation and information discovery systems, Canright Communications developed an online banner ad published at LibraryJournal.com. READ MORE>

Banner Ads’ Effectiveness Lies in the Words, Not the Art

By DOUG DAVIDOFF

Banner ads on the Web are like billboards on the highway. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they work – and their effectiveness means they’re here to stay.

Moreover, banner ads are the cornerstone of a giant segment of the web advertising economy. The “pay-per-click” model of advertising would not work long using only simple text hyperlinks. It would be as if pictures were deleted from TV ads and one somnolent announcer replaced all voices.

The best use of banner ad space begins with words, not pictures. The challenge with a banner ad is distilling the client’s message into just a few words that possess the “grab” to attract the attention of the user and result in the behavior desired, namely a mouse click. (Examples of recent banner ads.)

“The key to successful banner ads is picking just the right words, setting them in type whose form and character support the message, and enhancing the message with visual cues,” said Christina Canright, co-founder and president of Canright Communications. “The job starts with culling the advertiser’s message down to its essence, and using those words in the ad.”

Besides their ubiquitousness and their narrow shapes, banner ads share another characteristic with billboards: The reader is not likely to spend more than a second or two grasping their message. One advertising agency limited its billboards to seven words. As a rule, 15 elements of words, art, transition panels, etc., is the maximum in a banner ad.

Effective banner ads use pictures and words to call readers to action. One approach is to show the results an action might bring and induce the reader to click on the ad in a bid to obtain the same result in his or her life.

Aya O’Connor, designer for Canright, says recent research by Dynamic Logic of New York City influences her designs for banner ads.

The research, summarized at Entrepreneur.com, recommends larger and uncluttered spaces in banner ads, immediate presentation of the client’s logo to attract interested users and frequent repetition of the banner ad. The research also uncovered a bump in effectiveness when human faces are employed in the design of a banner ad.

A handy list of best practices for banner ads is available from Volusion.

Banner ads are worth the work. A strategically focused banner ad will cut through the clutter of competing advertising messages and convey your message far better than the rest.

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Mobile Web Opens up New Stage for Content Marketing

By DOUG DAVIDOFF

Call up the Chicago Tribune’s website on your iPhone or a friend’s iPhone. You’ll get a website specially formatted for the look and feel of the iPhone’s famous touch interface.

Take a web-enabled Blackberry, Treo, Q, or other phone and examine a website on its screen. Incredulous as you might be, the tiny screen that you'll be looking at is the stage for the next big platform expansion on the Internet. Meet the "mobile web."

Running low on readers for their printed editions, newspapers are hungry for the audience comprised of people looking at their cell phones. In Chicago, at any one time, that’s a big number of people.

Although advertising and content marketing on the mobile web is still in its infancy, all signs point to its rush arrival during the next year or two. The Economist framed its special report last month on "mobility" with the powerful idea that the mobile web and devices like smartphones bring back the ancient construct of human beings as nomads.

"A modern nomad is as likely to be a teenager in Oslo, Tokyo or suburban America as a jet-setting chief executive," Andreas Kluth wrote for the Economist. "He or she may never have left his or her city, stepped into an aeroplane or changed address. Indeed, how far he moves is completely irrelevant. Even if an urban nomad confines himself to a small perimeter, he nonetheless has a new and surprisingly different relationship to time, to place and to other people. ‘Permanent connectivity, not motion, is the critical thing,’ says Manuel Castells, a sociologist at the Annenberg School for Communication, a part of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles."

And here’s data from the Economist report that cannot go unmentioned: “According to the International Telecommunication Union, 3.3 billion people, more than half the world's population, now subscribe to a mobile-phone service, so the internet at last looks set to change the whole world.” To underline this point, take note that the game-changer for the Internet is not the computer. It’s the telephone.

Adotas, an online advertising company, reported a Nielsen Company finding that the mobile Internet is driving traffic and extending the reach of many top Web sites by 13% over home PC traffic alone. Topics approached the fastest: weather and entertainment – stuff easily accommodated to the tiny screen of a smartphone.

In financial services, eMarketer reports (subscription required) on a Javelin Strategy and Research projection that 108 million Americans may be banking from their mobile phone in 2012 – a ten-fold increase from this year. eMarketer also reported a Tower Group study that reports that nearly 41 million U.S. consumers will conduct some banking activity by mobile phone at least once every 90 days by 2012.

“Where will the statement stuffer go?” asks eMarketer in the headline on its report.

The projections suggest that content marketing will of necessity and agility be married to sites such as weather, news, and entertainment, perhaps even sports.

And if your product associates well with consumer finance, you might be among the first mobile web “statement stuffer” messages attached to the telephone-banking platform of a bank near you.

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Personnel

New Staff at Canright

We are delighted to introduce two additions to the Canright staff.

  • Michael Kostal is a design intern. A 2006 graduate of Columbia College of Chicago, Michael previously worked for Behind The Chair in Roselle, Ill. Michael was raised in Westmont, Ill.

  • Karen Maylone is Canright’s new project manager and also serves on our writing staff. Karen hails from Royal Oak, Mich., and graduated from Calvin College of Grand Rapids in 2001. She most recently worked as project manager and writer for Eastern Accents of Chicago.

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Milestones

Panduit Corp.

Canright Communications helped Panduit Corp prepare a white paper comparing methods to maintain polarity across fiber optic connections in large data centers (PDF download). The paper explores several industry standard methods as well as a proprietary method. The paper concludes by endorsing one of the three industry standards and explaining advantages of this method for customers. Based in Tinley Park, Ill., Panduit is a global manufacturer of high-quality products for wiring and communications applications.

Ex Libris Group

For North American operations of Ex Libris, a Jerusalem-based worldwide supplier of library automation and information discovery systems, Canright Communications developed an online banner ad published at LibraryJournal.com to advertise thought leadership sessions to be sponsored by Ex Libris at the American Library Association conference June 26-July 2 at Anaheim, California. Users who clicked on the banner ad were directed to a page with further information. Ex Libris North America is based in Des Plaines, Ill.

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