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Case study of a successful internet advertising strategy in Hong Kong: a portal for teenagers

Ronnie Chu Ting Cheung (Department of Computing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 1 June 2006



To identify key success factors related to internet advertising, in the specific case of a portal directed at a teenage audience in Hong Kong; to derive a generally applicable formula for measuring the effectiveness of internet advertising.


Proposes a framework for advertising effectiveness that includes traditional objective measures (click‐through rates), subjective measures applied by advertisers, and seasonality corrections. Derives a mathematical formula for measurement of effectiveness. Extracts components from ten banner advertising campaigns at one web site between January 2001 and May 2002, and analyses them by means of proprietary data‐mining rule‐induction software. Selects two rules form the several generated, on the basis of confidence levels.


Finds that, in the case example studied: small interactive games and free gifts deliver the highest brand impression after normalization of the banner click‐through rate; revenue is significantly affected by local cultural and seasonal factors; “media‐rich” design is an important factor in attracting the target audience to click on a banner. Notes the importance of countering the natural variability of click‐through rates, and proposes a variety of design add‐ons to stabilise them.

Research limitations/implications

The study relates to a very specific case example of internet advertising in one special administrative area of China. Caution is therefore indicated in applying the proposed model and formula or the related communication strategies more generally. Future research should investigate the conversion of muse‐clicks to sales.

Practical implications

Since, the cost to internet users of switching from one site to another is almost zero, competition for audiences is particularly severe, and planned marketing communication strategies essential to effective performance. In particular, continuing uncertainty about the cause‐effect link to sales threatens the revenue stream for firms that rely heavily on internet advertising. It is vital that such advertisers keep abreast of relevant research, such as the case study reported here.


The proposed formula for measurement of effectiveness is original in combining objective and subjective measures of effectiveness. The general principles underpinning strategic conclusions drawn in this particular situation could be selective applied by planners of internet advertising campaigns for other products and services to other target audiences.



Chu Ting Cheung, R. (2006), "Case study of a successful internet advertising strategy in Hong Kong: a portal for teenagers", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 393-405.



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