News in 1995: Innovative Advertising in Cyberspace
It is said that more than 50 million people use the internet in the United States alone. Countless more are on the net in Europe and Asia. No one knows just how many of these have full web access and how many only use e-mail. What is known however is that millions of new computers are being sold each year. More and more people are buying into the computer revolution. This huge proliferation of powerful CPUs, high resolution monitors and fast modems (often built in) means only one thing - the internet is on its way to becoming a standard feature in computers. Soon the internet may be the most widely used tool in the world for processing and distributing information. No advertising campaign can then afford to be without an arm in the internet.

A Revolutionary New Advertising Medium

Traditional advertising media work on a "shotgun" approach, relying on massive exposure to a wide audience to attract attention from the few who might be interested. The obvious drawback to this is that whatever the exposure of an advertising campaign, it can only be temporary. The immense costs of the channels of delivery make a sustained campaign prohibitive to all but the biggest corporations.

The nature of the internet however makes it far more deliberate in the way it reaches people. Web Advertising pages are interactive and information rich, unlike the compressed messages that are canned and pumped out over traditional media. And the bottom line is that web advertising is more cost effective. Producing and publicising a quality website, rich in content and graphics generally costs HK$30,000 - 50,000. A fair sized flyer production can easily cost the same, and last no more than one or two days, with most of the paper ending up in dustbins.

Some companies have larger budgets and choose to employ an in-house team to create and maintain a web site. This can easily run up monthly costs in the hundreds of thousands. Many others though prefer to farm out the design and maintenance work to professional web consultant companies.

The thirst for information leads to your door

The thirst for readily accessible information seems unquenchable. In 1995, Infoseek, the biggest search engine, averaged over 3 million requests for information each day. In 1996, the request count has reached 7 million per day. Other search engines such as Yahoo and Webcrawler also report request counts in the millions.

According to research data provided by Lycos (a leading internet search engine), the typical Lycos user is college educated, middle to upper income, between the ages of 18-35, and uses Lycos at least once a day. More than 40% use Lycos as their only Internet search engine.

Age Under 18
Gender 61%
Education 73% have a Bachelors degree or higher
29% have an advanced degree (Masters or PhD)
22% graduated high school, do/didn't attend college
5% have no degree
Income 6%
over $100,000
$80,000 - $99,999
$50,000 - $79,999
$35,000 - $49,999
$20,000 - $34,999
refused to answer
Marital 55%
single or divorced
Lycos Use 98% use Lycos at least once a month
Use Length 29.9% have used Lycos for more than 6 months
Where Used 81% use at home
64% use at work
9.5% use at school
Exclusivity 41% use Lycos as their exclusive search engine

Detailed studies of internet use have been conducted by large corporations and universities. Although Lycos has been chosen here as a microcosm of internet life, the Net started to extend much further and wider and "much" faster than we expected. And the Hermes user survey were ongoing projects committed to providing extensive and accurate information on the makeup of the internet and the way people use it. Webcrawler collected and still does, useful numbers on the size of the web. Web Ad Design closely monitored browser usage on the internet - the percentage of people using Netscape as opposed to other browsers has great impact on the way the web is viewed. Take a look at hourly updated browser usage figures for the Visual Senses Design Group. Yahoo's Random Link Browser statistics were a bold step forward to measure the type browsers used based on access hosts and has gown to what we know Yahoo now.

For people and companies interested in publishing their material on the internet, these figures indicated the size and nature of the target market. Web developers needed very much take into account the popularity of browsers when designing the presentation of web material. Web browsers are after all the equivalent of paper in publishing. It's one thing to design a page, quite another to visualise the way it is displayed on the browser screens of millions of web surfers using hundreds of different combinations of browser, platform and hardware.Since then the Browser market has surged with Firefox, Opera and many more and OPEN source has taken a big step forward to compensate for expenses that started to grow limitless if one wnated to stay ahead of licences etc. Thank you "Open Source"

The internet represented at its beginning a vast potential customer base with a large proportion who are highly educated executives and professionals with buying power, connected to yet more millions of people. The opportunities to reach top decision makers on their desktops without knocking on any door were immense. At that time it was simple and quite feasable like with our page to rank high in the the few good Search engines if as we already strived to offer good content, backed up by quality products and services, knowledgeable people soon found Visual Senses Design on the Net . Today it is a Maze and 1/2 to be seen easely in the Labyrinth that has become the Internet. At that time it was quite easy to find many companies not yet on the World Wide Web, and to tell them that now is the time to take them there. In doing so, we commited a handfull of good clients and improved their organisation to a position of leadership in your industry's use of the internet, and open the door to powerful new opportunities in an online world.

After a few years Visual Senses realized that was not to stay part of our business and we left this exclusive Webdesigning for others to other entities. Would we ever have known that winning my first Internet access and meeting at the price giving someone who liked our Designs that we would end up creating this large scale Webpage that is up now non stop for over 12 years.

Web Ad Design was a division of Clever One Ltd and a member of the Visual Senses Design Group. We also participate on the Corporate Panels of the Hermes Project and the online discussions of the HTML Writers' Guild.That still can be found today at the same URL. We committed to staying abreast of the latest technology in producing and maintaining a web presence. It has been more than 12 years by now. At that time we had the opportunity and the size of the newt allowed us to study closely the way commercial enterprises conduct business on the Web. We provided technical support and generate the design creativity necessary for your company to fully benefit from the possibilities of the World Wide Web. We were one of the 1st softdrink from Austria that our Hong Kong company imported to be online in Chinese and English even before the owner of the Brand has a web presence in Europe. Our page may not be the utmost stylish with Flash etc but it still displays today on a Blackberry or a Nokia or Samsung 3G phone a clearly with out a a glich as it did appeared to us when built in 1995 over in a 2000+ hour project for 2 Persons. One doing graphics the other implementing the html. We cherish these early years of the Net the followed our first access with Compuserve

Our web pages started blooming then all over the web:

Almdudler Products Asia

France's Body and Facial Therapy

Children's Wear Design Studio

Corporate Wardrobe Consultants

International Portfolio

As World Wide Web advertising design professionals, we provided the following services:

Advertising concept design - developing an image for your company, products and services on the World Wide Web. This can be extended to cover an entire advertising campaign in the traditional media with brochures, posters, flyers.

Graphic Design - We have created posters, logos, letterheads, gift certificates, brochures and invitation cards for our clients. Our technical grasp of the internet means that we can now extend the use of these graphic ad concepts to the World Wide Web. We design web page graphics, layout, colour schemes, advertising copy, banner ads. We stay in close contact with the major search engines and closely monitor their prices for placing banner ads on their high-hit pages.

Internet Presentation - If you are not already on line and surfing, we will visit your office (in Hong Kong) with a personalised online presentation which will give you a clear understanding of what the internet is and how it can work for you. A hands on demonstration of the key applications of the internet will transform your understanding of this phenomenon in the world of communication. We also conduct regular internet seminars and presentations.

(C) Copyright 1995 by All rights reserved. 20.5.96