Bringing A New Definition To Ad Sales

from the mixing-it-up-a-bit dept

We’ve been going on around here for years that companies need to have a much better understanding of the fact that advertisements are content, too. The point is that a good advertisement is one that not only educates people about a product or service, but that the ad itself is enjoyable to the point that people seek it out. The reasoning is that the concept of intrusive ads is going away. The captive audience is a dead concept. There’s so much demand for anyone’s attention right now that it’s simply impossible to believe you can get away with intrusive advertising for long before people simply go elsewhere. So, you have to work on ways to make your advertising compelling in its own right. It would appear that the executives at ESPN have this mixed up a bit. The sports network seems to have bought into the vision of Steve Jobs’ (suddenly their largest shareholder) a bit too much, and decided to start selling their classic commercials on iTunes for $2 a pop. Yes, they wanted you to buy a commercial for $2 (though, some say they couldn’t access it, so it may have been a mistake). However, it didn’t take long for the commercials to get a ton of negative feedback as people couldn’t figure out why they should want to buy a 30-second commercial for $2 — especially when they could see the entire commercial in the 30-second “preview” iTunes allows. It’s great that they view ads as content, but that doesn’t mean charging for them, but recognizing that there’s promotional value in making them worth people seeking them out.

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Comments on “Bringing A New Definition To Ad Sales”

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Hedwig says:

Not a bad idea

Well… advertising is the ‘art’ of getting your message across to as many people as possible. Preferably for free.

How much does an online ad cost these days? What is the price of putting something up for sale in iTunes?

I guess ESPN is having FREE (or very cheap) ad space on the web this way. And as you said: the entire ad is visible in the preview, so what do they care if anyone actually pays $2 for a copy… It’s the fact of being in the catalog that’s important for them.

And writing about it as you are doing is only helping to get more people to seek them out. Congrats! You just helped in making these ads ‘content’.

Matt says:

Re: Not a bad idea

Online advertising will have to change drastically, very soon. I don’t see how they can continue with banner ads on pages with new programs allowing you to remove these. This could refer to Adblock, or flashblock, or more importantly, GreaseMonkey.
When people are able to change, rearrange, remove, and even add ads or functionality to a site, how will any one pay for that? This brings up another point, is this illegal? By changing the content that is provided, have I broken some sort of copyright or some such nonsense (I’m sure I could be sued regardless 😉 )

Tyson says:

Re: Re: Not a bad idea

You do bring up a good point; is services like adblock and popup blockers illegal? It would seem to me that the these services directly block advertisers from reaching their target audience. I am no expert on law, but it seems like it might be walking a line… I hope a lawyer doesn’t try to prove that it is. I personally like my ability surf without the risk of having a seizure from the annoying yellow, red, and green flashing adds……

Mousky (user link) says:

Re: Re: Not a bad idea

Who says that online advertising has to change? If users block out revenue-generating ads, then they should not be surprised when companies start cutting back on content, start charging for so-called premium content, and/or add even more advertising.

The “changing the content” issue came up when Google introduced AutoLink in the Google Toolbar. A number of prominent bloggers (Dave Winer for instance) were quite vocal in their attacks on AutoLink. ‘How dare Google change our copyright protected content’ they would argue. Of course they all ignored the fact that there were numerous Greasemonkey scripts that altered pages and that each and every browser allows the user to override font, color and stylesheet settings. There is no copyright violation for changing a local copy of a web page for personal use.

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