Online Publishers' Solution To Falling Ad Revenues: Bigger, More Annoying Ads

from the sledgehammer-on-a-thumbtack dept

Things aren't looking good for the online ad market: reduced spending by advertisers combined with the fact that people don't pay a whole lot of attention to banner ads portends doom and gloom. While the first part of that equation might be out of online publishers' control, they're trying to tackle the second part not by recognizing that advertising needs to be engaging or interesting content in order to be satisfying, but rather by clubbing internet users over the head with some new, huge and intrusive banner ad formats. Say hello to the Fixed Panel, which is a huge vertical banner that "scrolls to the top and bottom of the page as a user scrolls", the XXL Box, which is pretty much exactly what it says, and the Pushdown, the biggest of the bunch, which rolls down from the top of the page to get right in the user's face. The trade group behind these new formats says they are "designed to help stimulate a renaissance of creative advertising on the Internet that meets the needs of marketers by better integrating their messages into the fabric of the Web." That sounds like a lot of buzzwords, but conspicuous by its absence is any mention of the user's experience of these ads. These ads might grab users' attention through brute force, but will the experience be a positive one? It seems likely that intrusive advertising that gets in users' way will simply make the current situation worse by driving users away from the content. This is a further reflection of just how dead the captive advertising model is. Consumers have plenty of choices about where to get their content online; if a publishers' advertising keeps getting in their way, they'll move on and get content from somewhere else.
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Filed Under: ads, online ads


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 11 Mar 2009 @ 9:07am

    I've noticed a lot more ads becoming annoying recently. The two most annoying for me right now are the redirect pages (that randomly stop you from visiting the next page of an article for a few seconds while they run a full page ad) and the banner ads that play a sound if your cursor rolls over them. The former are plain annoying while the latter can be stupid and embarrassing if there's people nearby. Those rolldown ads are also annoying, but at least they're relatively easy to dismiss most of the time.

    I honestly don't know what the point is. If I don't click on your ad, it's because I'm not interested, not because I didn't notice it. If ad revenue is lower, well look around. People don't have the money to spend on frivolous items, and that's what most of these ads are for. If I see too many stupid ads, I'm just going to stop visiting the sites that run them.

    It would be nice to be able to run adblock everywhere, but in some environments it's just not possible. In the meantime, you're just annoying me by running these ads, not convincing me to part with money.

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