I was reading a story on Yahoo! about the “Codex Sinaiticus,” the oldest version of the Christian Bible and how that’s being brought online. At the top of the page was a geo-targeted display ad for the Alameda County Fair. I live in Alameda County and was probably targeted by IP address in this case.
I was otherwise unaware that it was going on and wasn’t looking for things to do. In other words I very definitely wasn’t in “search mode.” This was pure awareness building.
However the fact that this was a local event by itself made me click on the ad. On the site there are a bunch of social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) tools that they’re using to promote the event and build email lists. And while I won’t follow the fair on Twitter, if I were somebody else (who didn’t cover this stuff for a living) I might.
Beyond the interesting fact that the county fair is using all the requisite online social tools to promote itself, the initial display ad was effective in getting me to the site.
The Online Publishers’ Association recently produced research that shows the value of display advertising for brands and other awareness marketers is not in the click but in subsequent user behavior. However the purely local nature of this ad caught my eye and got me to take action.
While there has been considerable use of (IP-based) geotargeting in online display, the fact that this had locally relevant ad copy and messaging was a critical piece of this ad in capturing my attention. Geotargeting without local messaging is not going to be as effective.