that, essentially, is a less intrusive version of the pop-up ads that have been plaguing surfers for some time now. Rather than popping up, opening new browser windows each time, eyeblasters simply glide onto the screen and can be easily removed. “They allow you to create rich media and don’t necessarily interfere with your browsing,” says Akabueze. But how does Burrell measure whether a particular strategy paid off? “We see the results in the click-through rate. The rates are much higher with the eyeblasters, for example, than with the pop-ups that open up additional windows,” he explains. The click-through rate with pop-ups is only about 1.2%; with eyeblasters, it’s generally 3.5%. But Akabueze says the click-through rate with Burrell’s eyeblasters is about 12%.
Even Burrell’s tech-savvy clients aren’t always aware of the benefits of incorporating interactive elements into their advertising campaigns. “Clients know that the Internet exists, but they may not realize the full value of it. We help them understand the impact of the vehicle … then we push them to the next level. It doesn’t sink in until they realize how they were impacted by someone else’s advertising,” says Akabueze.
“You have to think out of the box,” adds Williams, who joined Burrell early this year. Her diverse resumÃ© includes stints as a television news reporter at WTSP-TV in Florida’s Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg market and a visiting assistant professor for the Department of Communications and Visual Arts at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. “You can do an in-store promotion around a product where you just tease the customer with an offer or a promotion,” she says. “From there, you can drive customers to a Website where they can sign up for special offers or get Web-only discounts. The customers get an extra benefit [from the online perks] and advertisers reap a harvest by getting new customers.” This type of promoting also encourages brand loyalty. “You can clearly measure [the benefit of a Web strategy] because the customers are coming to you,” says Williams.
In 2002, McDonald’s Corp. launched the 365Black campaign to honor the work of African Americans year round, not just during February. The campaign includes an awards event and print, TV, and radio ads, some of them featuring tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Burrell is also working with Verizon on their promotion of a student art competition. Burrell has added a Web component to the promotions of both clients.
“[We have] Verizon posters placed at black colleges and universities around the country promoting a student art competition,” says Williams. The posters and ads include directions to a Website (www.verizon.com/art competition) where students can download an entry form and listen to or view print, radio, and TV ads.
The print and broadcast ads Burrell developed for the McDonald’s 365Black campaign were also supplemented by a Website (www.365blackhistory.com) that offers more detail about the program and features a list of those honored at past 365Black awards programs. With both McDonald’s and Verizon, the Web surfer is left inside the