All Advertising Is Promise:Deliver…

I spend a lot of time on the Internet. Probably too much time, but that’s another story. This morning I was exploring the Yahoo home page and bumped into this banner advert from Kraft, a huge corporation:

kraft banner ad

The entire philosophy of successful advertising is promise -> deliver so how would you imagine Kraft is going to deliver on this with the banner graphic? Maybe a page about how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? Or about the quality of ingredients in the product?

Turns out that we can’t find out what Kraft envisioned as the perfect landing page or “deliver” for this particular banner advert because when I clicked on it, I was more than a bit surprised to have this on my screen:

kraft 404 error page

Let that sink in for a minute. Kraft is paying to be on the home page of, still a pretty darn key property in the Internet world, and no-one bothered to test the link. So if people are clicking on the beautiful and effective banner ad, they’re getting a 404 error page. Yikes.

This is obviously sloppy marketing but there’s a bigger issue underlying it, the entire concept of advertising. Again, back to promise:deliver. Regardless of what kind of advertising you’re doing, online or off, it’s the most critical concept to converting a viewer into a buyer.

This applies to regular life too. If I invite a woman over for a delicious home-cooked meal, then promptly say “you’re in my home, please start cooking our dinner” it fails. But the fail is that the promise of a home-cooked meal ends up not being delivered and so it’s dissonant.

That’s the same thing happening here with the Kraft ad. I wouldn’t have minded if it dropped me to their home page (though that’s a poor fulfillment of the promise of their photograph in the banner), or even dropped me onto the page for this particular product (though again, suboptimal). But to click and get an error? Jarring and off-putting, for sure.

Now think about a typical ad on‘s search results page, for example. Let’s have a peek at two of the ads I get for “nikon lens”:

google search ads - nikon lens

Both look good, but there’s an obvious question about the Tamron ad: It’s promising lenses for Nikon cameras (contextually by showing up as a match for my Nikon lens search) so does it deliver, or does it crash-burn like the Kraft cheese banner advert shown earlier? A click reveals that it’s not a great landing page, but it does highlight some camera lenses:

tamron camera lens

I would like to see them specifically state that they are Nikon compatible (you have to click through to find that out) but it’s still a decent example of the promise of the advert being fulfilled by the landing page.

Now, how’s your advertising doing in this regard?

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