- Creation date: 2008
With the excuse of having to create a study following the scientific method for one of the modules of my high school, I decided to test my long-held hypothesis about flashy internet adverts being less effective than simpler-looking ones – this might sound like basic information now, but back in 2008, most internet advertisers still seemed to think that the flashier their adverts, the more attention they would get.
To test my hypothesis, I created a website where I made the bogus claim that Youtube was closing, and that it was important to sign a petition to stop this from happening. I called the website
retainyoutube.com not only because all the good domains were already taken, but also because I didn't speak any English at the time, so that was as good as I could do:
The idea, apart from testing if people would be gullible enough to believe my made-up nonsense (spoiler alert, they were), was to advertise the site with different types of banners in order to test how well each one would perform. And, as I suspected, the text banner performed better than the one with an image, and the one with an image performed better than the one with an animation. That is to say: the less flashy, the better – by this point, most internet users had already become blind to flashy banners.
Apart from validating my hypothesis and getting me a good grade, my study won a national award whose prize was the opportunity to study a university degree of my choice, completely free of charge, at the private university CEU San Pablo. Because of personal circumstances, I never took advantage of the prize, but receiving it was a great honour nonetheless.