Flash Game Banners: Are They So Fun?

A couple of weeks ago, a young kid that was visiting with his family told me that he liked playing video games. There’s nothing wrong with that, I told him. He continued on to tell me that his dad wouldn’t let him download any games onto the computer, but that he could play those free games. Free games? Well yes, there are free games…if you go to Yahoo, you can play free demo games to help pass the time.

However, this young kid proceeded to tell me about the fact that they ask for information from time to time…and this started to worry me as I immediately told him never to provide any information on those games. What made me start to worry? Well it’s probably because I was thinking about those banners that are mini-games that you find yourself enjoying after playing it for a while and then once it has you, it opens up a window to try and convert your actions to sales. The most prominent of abusers is Orbitz. Now, I’m not saying that those flash games aren’t amusing because I’ll admit I’ve been entertained for minutes by playing the baseball games from Orbitz.

Unfortunately, in this day of age, those banners aren’t so innocent anymore. It’s especially more troubling when you find out that a eight year old kid is playing those games and those banner ads might be saying “You’ve won a free iPod…enter your home address here!” and they foolishly (albeit innocently) enter it in.

When creating a banner for your online advertising campaign, be sure to know who your audience is and create a message that is genuinely trustworthy. Don’t make it hard to find out that there’s a “catch” to winning a prize (like an iPod). Young kids are all around the Internet and parents are growing more cautious and eventually may come to ignore ALL banners. With all the online advertising nusances in place today, shouldn’t you try just that much harder to be friends with your audience and help to try and break through the clutter?

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