If you use a free email account like Yahoo.com or Hotmail.com, you usually see some sort of advertisement inside your email account interface which is what keep the service free. Advertisers who display their banners on such service get to show targeted advertisement to viewers and pay substantial sums to reach out to millions. But, often a great banner is accompanied with unexpected or unplanned behavior. For example I saw a banner of the Bank of America Small Business Online Community service while using Hotmail.com on January 10, 2007.
Intrigued, I clicked on the banner and nothing happened. Assuming that I did not click correctly or that I was supposed to click on one of 4 tabs within the banner, I tried clicking on the tabs. Again – nothing. But I saw that the tabs changed color to whatever I clicked last. I now tried right clicking on the banner and opening it in a new window. Voilà! – I land on the Bank of America Small Business Online Community site.
Well, I am sure that most people who clicked on this banner clicked a few times and just moved on. The Bank still would have had to pay and some part of advertising budget would have been wasted. The lesson here is to make easy to click advertisements with simple behaviors that have been tested extensively before turning them live.