Editor’s note: As Israeli startup BannerPlay rolls out its ‘banner ads for everyone’ service, this report originally published by Israel’s NoCamels blog looks at the story behind the company.
Successfully advertising on the Internet is not an easy feat for small and medium businesses with limited budgets. While Google and Facebook have opened the gates of advertising to small businesses, banner ads are still monopolized by larger businesses with strong buying power. Israeli company BannerPlay is now offering professional banner ads, using a pay-per-click (PPC) business model.
“BannerPlay is basically an end-to-end solution, a system that generates banner ads very simply,” BannerPlay Head of Marketing Niv Calderon tells NoCamels. “Instead of hiring a designer to create the banner, then buy the media and then use some sort of analytic tool to get statistics – we offer a one-stop-shop solution.”
The company uses a “Google-like” method, buying the ad space online and placing the banners created by customers on various Web pages. The customer is billed using a pay-per-click method, which means they allocate a certain budget for their campaign, which remains online until the budget runs out.
The company says that customers can make real-time adjustment to their campaign, according to the statistical data BannerPlay offers its users. In addition, customers can create as many banners as they like for each campaign. “We want to make our banner-creating system as accessible as Google Ads,” says Calderon.
The startup was founded last January by Rafi Ton (CEO) and Yoad Gidron (CTO). According to Calderon, the two were involved in creating banner ads for major brands, and decided to make the popular advertising platform more accessible to smaller clients. Calderon tells NoCamels: “They said: ‘let’s create this for everyone, so that whoever wants a banner ad could have it easily and not spend tens of thousands of dollars on a campaign.’”
It’s all about usability
What BannerPlay claims to achieve is quite ambitious. The six-employee Israeli startup wants to rival Google as a prominent tool for affordable, effective online advertising. Calderon tells NoCamels that the company believes its tall order is achievable by simplifying the user interface, so that anyone can create a professional-looking internet campaign. Once generating the banner, the user can decide whether to let BannerPlay choose where to advertise it, or embed it themselves using an embed code.
Although the process is pretty much automated, the company insists that users with special requests, such as limiting target audiences, will have control over where their campaign is displayed.
“Our interface is so simple it’s crazy,” Calderon claims, “you can design your banner ad within five minutes. We have dozens of ready-made templates and we also offer free tailor-made designs for people who buy $200 worth of media.” The company also offers ready-made in-banner game templates, such as wheel of fortune and crossword puzzles, which allow more interactivity with the user.
BannerPlay has some more advanced features, which are designed to increase engagement. “We allow users to embed YouTube videos, contact forms and Facebook ‘likes’ in the banners,” says Calderon, “so that you don’t even necessarily have to set up a landing page for your campaign.”
Creating an advertising ecosystem
BannerPlay’s next step is developing a network of designers and game developers, who will be paid whenever their template is utilized. For instance, if an advertiser uses a certain designer’s template, whenever the banner ad is clicked, the designer will get a small share of the revenue. “A major focus of ours is developing a strong social community of designers and game developers,” says Calderon.
Eventually, the company wants to create a sort of advertising ecosystem that will bring together designers, developers, advertisers and end users. The company’s role in that ecosystem is buying the media, offering the banner-creating platform and advertising the banners online. “When you advertise with Google, you don’t really know where your ads will appear – but you trust them. That’s what we want to achieve.”
The BannerPlay dashboard is available for free online. The website currently only operates in English, but Calderon says that they are in the process of translating it to several languages.
Calderon says that BannerPlay’s initial funding comes from local angel investors, but would not elaborate further.