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Flash Banner Design

The web is positively brimming with banner ads. They’re all over the place – on commercial websites, on Google, in Facebook. So if you’re considering a banner ad campaign, creating a Flash banner is one way to get noticed.

So what are we talking about here, and what’s so good about these Flash banners? Flash is software that is used extensively in the graphic design and visual media industries. It allows programmers to create often intricate little animated movies that will render in a web browser. These dynamic images can also have sound integrated in them – some Flash animation is practically indistinguishable from actual movie content.

The point is, Flash is contemporary-looking and eye-catching. So to answer the second point, about what’s so good about Flash – it makes a banner ad look contemporary and sophisticated, enhancing the visual appeal of the message. Because a Flash animation will consist of multimedia elements, it will grab your customers’ attentions and therefore get your message across with maximum impact. Although web surfers can be notoriously fussy and liable to scroll across pages with a degree of impatience, research has demonstrated that Flash items do have an ability to hook users.

Unlike a static image, which can be readily ignored and scrolled beyond, the nature of a Flash excerpt is that it often does come with a linear history. What do we mean by this? Simple. Just like any sort of moving advert you might see on TV or at the start of a YouTube clip, a Flash movie can have a beginning, middle and end, so customers are often intrigued to find out how the clip concludes, rather than going off to visit other sites.

Another advantage Flash animation has over static images is that because it is dynamic, you can add graphics and text to limited space areas. You can also incorporate buttons, forms and labels to help encourage your customer to take the appropriate action. Provided your Flash element has been intelligently designed, the actions taken by the customer should eventually lead them towards that decisive ‘click’ where they activate the HTML code that links them into the landing page on your product page.

Which leads us to the actual design. The crucial aspect of Flash banners is that for all their strongly graphic appearance, it is their functionality that is all-important. It might be tempting to hand over a design spec to your Flash designer/programmer that impresses the need for them to put together some suitably eye-catching clip that will dazzle your potential customers. But the designer must also have a clear idea of what you are attempting to achieve with your campaign.

Flash movies can come in all shapes and sizes. You should work closely with the banner designer in stressing the intricacies of the banner ad. How strong or subtle should it be? Should it be prominent or subdued? Is sound appropriate (probably not in most cases)? It should be seen as a banner ad first and foremost, with its Flash aspect a close second.

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