by Mike Masnick

American Express Understanding The Nature Of Online Ads

from the make-people-seek-it-out dept

Slowly but surely, it looks like some online advertisers are getting it. The internet is different. It's not the second coming of TV. It truly is interactive, and therefore, expecting users to happily be interrupted in order to watch a TV commercial is ridiculous. BMW got this early on, with their BMWFilms effort, and we've been talking about others who realize the importance of realizing that there's no difference between content and promotion. People will seek out good content - even if it's directly promoting something else. Honda also figured this out with their cog commercial. They didn't play it on American TV because, at two minutes, it was way too long. However, plenty of Americans online have sat through that advertisement multiple times - because it's entertaining. American Express appears to have figured this out as well. Over at E-Media Tidbits, Steve Klein points out that he just happly sat through a four minute short from American Express starring Jerry Seinfeld and Superman. American Express is only putting the short film online, and (if you like Seinfeld) it's worth watching - even if it is promoting American Express. They knew to make it entertaining so that people would seek it out and watch it on their own, rather than be pissed off at having it interrupt what they were doing online. Advertisers need to learn they no longer have a "captive" audience. Some are getting it, while others are just getting desperate.

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