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I've had a lot of fun doing the ads for the Open Ad Network, which is now being tested on a select number of sites. I produced some new traditional banner ads like these:
Generic banner showing the cast
(Generic banner showing the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan cast)
The Dragon is In banner
(Banner made specifically to push the Dolphins and Dragons storyline).

In the OAN setup, banners get more exposure because there are more slots on the pages to put them on. However, they get very low clickthrough because they're an old format that people have trained themselves not to be distracted by. So I use them primarily to spread the brand - character likenesses and the comic's name.

What people click on in amazing numbers (up to 5% in my case, up to 12% in the case of one particularly provocative graphic by another artist) is 120x600-pixel skyscraper ads.
And the skyscraper ad that is the most popular is the first mini-strip I posted: a version of the second page of The Rite of Serfdom. I got the idea for that two years ago when I was approached by a content provider for MMS comics who was looking for new material. I made some trial things, but was a bit slow to do so and never really grabbed the opportunity by the throat. To this day, I have no idea if there's any money in it... but it turned out that I could reduce my pages much further than I thought I could, and still have them make sense. Revisiting the idea for the skyscraper ads was a no-brainer. And it's still fun:

mini strip 1 mini strip 2 mini strip 3.png

As you can see, they're not really made to be shown next to one another, otherwise I'd have made the gutter height identical for all of them. Also, it helped that the opening sequence was wordless. I'll take this until at least page 7, and then I'll see how much sense the comics will make if I have to deal with dialogue.

The ads all have nudity in them, which is not a big problem where the system is being tested right now, but OAN will filter them out for some sites. I don't think that will hurt me, overall.

All of these should be added to the link art page, where most of the existing material is years out of date and/or in unusual sizes. Until then, if you feel like advertising Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan on your website, feel free to use any of these. That's a hint. An urgent one, because my ego needs feeding.

Update: I've made some horizontal mini-strips as well. This could end up being like a collectable card game. Catch'em all! Except I'm going to spoil it for you by reproducing the banners here:
ministrip 4

ministrip 5, animated

I haven't done anything animated in years. I don't enjoy it much - both the actual animation process and the handling of the software used for making it. In this case, that means the GIMP's features for turning layers in a source image into anumation frames. It's pretty good, and hasn't changed much since the last time I used it so it wasn't that aggravating, but I make a point of not spending too much time on any one banner, and you just can't do that in animation. Nevertheless, the jerkiness gives it a slight annoyance factor that might actually be helpful in getting people to notice it.

By the way, the first chapter of The Rite of Serfdom is now a free sample, so go there and read it!


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 9, 2005 12:27 PM.

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