Amanda Smit
Leverage agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews. Iterative approaches to corporate strategy foster collaborative thinking to further the overall value
+61 (383) 76-62-84
121 King St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


In our many years of working with communicators from Brussels’ trade associations and NGOs, we have noticed they have one thing in common – they want to get the most out of typically limited communications budgets. 

This will especially be true during the economic crisis that comes in the wake of the COVID shutdown. 

So we are still surprised when we come across a client who is hesitant to invest in promoting a video or post because they are short on budget. Something like:

“We have a partnership with [enter a name of an EU news site], let’s publish a banner there”.

They publish the banner, it gets a couple of thousand impressions (number of times the banner is seen), a few clicks and zero impact. 

Sure, there might be some credibility value in appearing in the news media. But banner ads are not perceived by readers as news items — so they are just as often ignored or, worse still, seen as a nuisance.

If “news media credibility” is what you are aiming for, then sponsored content is a much better way to go.


Recently, in agreement with one of our clients, we decided to spend just over 200 EUR on Google Ads, and for 2 weeks we ran a campaign in parallel with an ongoing banner ad campaign the client was running on one of the prominent EU news media sites.

First of all, by adjusting targeting possibilities, we made sure the campaign was seen by people the client actually wanted to reach – MEPs and their staff. This was already different from the ‘pay & spray’ approach of running banner ads directly with media sites. 

The Google Ads campaign reached nearly 300,000 impressions, making the CPM (cost per thousand of impressions) 0.73 EUR. At the same time, the client was paying around 40 EUR for 1,000 impressions with the news site, which made Google Ads over 50 times cheaper!. 

We knew that the difference was going to be significant, but even we were surprised by how big it actually was. And the client was astonished.

More importantly, the campaign had a real impact – resulting in a tangible increase to website visits and campaign video views. Google Ads in this case not only made it cheaper to advertise, but more effective as well. This was due to:

  • Precise targeting, making sure only relevant people see the ad
  • Around 30% of people in Europe use ad blockers, which block banners by news media sites, meaning that nearly a 3rd of the desired audience doesn’t even see tha ad

Following this test case campaign, and after talking with other clients, we realised how most communicators in the Brussels bubble are simply unaware of the best digital advertising possibilities. 

Recently we hosted a free webinar on this very topic. Leave us your email address and we’ll send you the presentation slides, or contact us directly to learn more.