If you were buying advertising, where would you want it placed?

Obviously, you'd want it where people in your target market would see it. And you wouldn't want it in a place that'd reflect poorly on your company. For example, if you were promoting a bank, you wouldn't advertise in a crack house, even if you knew a lot of your local target market members happened to be junkies.

Still, there's something to be said for putting your ads in places where they don't exactly blend in. Recently, Ben Settle wrote:

...I read an article about how, somewhere up in Canada ... the marketing people for the hit zombie TV show "The Walking Dead" put up a billboard ad"¦ right next to a funeral parlor!

I have no idea if that was done intentionally.

But the funeral parlor was pretty mad.

And they demanded it be taken down.

Funny for the TV show...if not exactly tasteful. Not so funny for the funeral parlor.

But it got me thinking. What if, the next time you made a banner ad, you split it in two, so it looked like two completely different banners side-by-side or one on top of another. And what if you made the combination humorous or surprising in some way.

It could be an odd combination of ideas. It could be the visual combination, where something in one ad looked like it was pointing at something in the other ad, and that were somehow funny.

Unless you could actually use two separate images or use an image map to direct clicks on each part of the banner to different locations, you'd need to make a landing page that worked for both parts. Perhaps the landing page could build on the humor of the original combination -- only, of course, if you didn't mind people knowing you'd done it on purpose.

The same thing might work where the advertisement combined in some humorous or surprising way with the website where it was placed. You might have a little trouble getting sites to accept your ad if the combination was like the TV show Ben mentioned trying to buy ads on funeral parlor websites. But humor in good taste shouldn't cause any problem.

Reader Comment:
Dan McLean said:
Love your idea for a split banner ad. How about Cheap Plastic Surgery on one side and Criminal Medical Negligence Lawyers on the other.
(join the conversation below)

To find good placements for ads like this, you may need to expand your vision for where your ads could be placed. As I wrote a while back, the more you know about your prospects, the more you'll be able to discover seemingly irrelevant places to advertise where your prospects just happen to hang out. And the less directly relevant the other site is to your product, the easier it should be to play off the juxtaposition of your ad to their site.

Have you seen examples of advertisers doing things like this? Do you think it would work?