The Intromercial: Publishers' Savior Or A Big Annoyance to Users?

from the make-it-go-away dept

Mark Glaser is wondering about the latest trend in online advertising to force surfers to sit through a short “rich media intromercial” before they can view the site’s content. Apparently, it’s a big hit with sites like CBS Marketwatch and the Of course, how do readers feel about it? Glaser quotes a number of folks at the sites that run these saying they haven’t received too many complaints. I’m not sure I’d consider the number of complaints received as an indication of how annoyed people are. If people are annoyed, they’re not likely to complain, but they’re not likely to visit the site much either. I know that I’m much more hesitant to visit some sites that I know are too intrusive with their advertising. As for intromercials or other such “rich media” advertising, I find it to be both a pain and not particularly effective. My general method of surfing is to open up a large number of sites at once and go back and visit them later. Thus, I’ll have about 10 windows open and suddenly I’ll be hearing some annoying TV commercial going and have no idea where it’s coming from. I spend more time trying to find which site has the ad and figuring out how to shut it off than I do paying attention to whatever it is they’re advertising. From the article it sounds like CBS Marketwatch is the worst abuser of their visitors time – but also seem a bit closer to understanding the value of promotional content. Glaser quotes CBS Marketwatch’s Larry Kramer saying that he sees the “intromercials” as content, and has a gallery of all of them. If that were really true, then he shouldn’t be forcing them on people when they come to get other content. If the content is truly valuable – even if it’s advertising – then people will come and find it. Honda (with their “cog” ads) and BMW (with their BMW Films) have proven that to be true. It’s only if you’re uncreative and lazy that you have to block users from seeing what they want to see.

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