Quoth the Raven: "Buy A Ford Explorer on Yahoo!"
May 4, 2001 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Quoth the Raven: "Buy A Ford Explorer on Yahoo!" In the category of "new and exciting ways to annoy users - I mean, generate ad revenue," the front page of Yahoo! now has a DHTML ad involving, um, blackbirds flying off a wire and eating birdseed, revealing an ad for an SUV. On the one hand, it's a clever use of DHTML. On the other, I just feel dirty.
posted by solistrato (30 comments total)
Yeah, thats what I want. With gas almost $2 a gallon, I want a fuel eating SUV.............NOT
posted by ericdano at 8:53 AM on May 4, 2001

once upon a morning now dreary....
posted by elsar at 8:55 AM on May 4, 2001

Who is still using Yahoo?!
posted by Dreama at 8:56 AM on May 4, 2001

Give them a break. They have to make up the money they lost when they backpedaled on selling p0rn after all ;)
posted by terrapin at 8:58 AM on May 4, 2001

Did you click the ads? Try it. Sigh. I am now hastily trying to prevent my manager from seeing this. As soon as he does, he'll want to use this type of advertising all the time because it's the "hip new thing." Make the bad man stop.
posted by Hankins at 9:02 AM on May 4, 2001

Ratbastard ties a lariat around Ol' Yahoo's neck and leads her out to pasture one last time. In one hand, he carries a can of gasoline. In the other, a shotgun. "C'mon, ol' Yahoo," says Ratbastard, "We're goin' for a little walk."
posted by ratbastard at 9:10 AM on May 4, 2001

I was actually more amused by the header at the top:

"Auctions - buy/sell anything - Ichiro Suzuki, Playstation 2, coins . . . "

Any number of my gay friends would gladly pick up a spare Ichiro Suzuki.
posted by Skot at 9:13 AM on May 4, 2001

Heh. Now you can see why some people still use NN 4.7 :-) (either that, or they've pulled it already!).
posted by andrew cooke at 9:14 AM on May 4, 2001

I've seen them elsewhere... Ask Jeeves, for example. And Matt had a thread on the subject a few days ago at his place. I guess they're called "shoshkeles"... and I'll say it again: Ironic that "shoshkele" looks/sounds like "tchotchke"... they're mildly amusing at first but just plain annoying in no time.
posted by silusGROK at 9:33 AM on May 4, 2001

Awful as it may be, it's not as bad as the ad Hotwired had once for HP color printers. The whole (normally very colorful) page was turned grayscale, and when you clicked the ad everything went back to normal. The idea was something about how bright HP printers were, or something.

You really can't dog on Yahoo too much though for having such blatant ads. It would really suck if they had to shut down all their services because they weren't making enough cash.

The most surprising thing to me isn't the ad itself, but the fact that Yahoo - which usually sticks to things a 3.x browser can handle - is using DHTML at all.
posted by endquote at 9:42 AM on May 4, 2001

Ratbastard ties a lariat around Ol' Yahoo's neck and leads her out to pasture one last time. In one hand, he carries a can of gasoline. In the other, a shotgun. "C'mon, ol' Yahoo," says Ratbastard, "We're goin' for a little walk."

How many hands does ratbastard have? Is he holding the lead line in his teeth?
posted by dcehr at 9:46 AM on May 4, 2001

It doesn't work in Netscape 6, either. (Sometimes it's nice to be less than 1% of the browsing population.) Unfortunately, those pop-up windows they've been adding do work.
posted by mrbula at 9:50 AM on May 4, 2001

I hopped on early this morning and it scared the shit out of me! Black crows??? Isn't that bad luck?
posted by jennak at 9:57 AM on May 4, 2001

Btw, I've used yahoo, today was the last straw, I set google as front page, and then since I already have the toolbar, blank page, loads quickly.
posted by tiaka at 9:58 AM on May 4, 2001

Jennak - yes, there is a whole canon of crow colors out there. Observe:
black crows - bad luck
red crows - love... and bad luck
green crows - envy... and bad luck
pink polka dot crows - acid flashback... and bad luck
Black Crowes - Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye
posted by starvingartist at 10:03 AM on May 4, 2001

Yet another reason to use a dated browser...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:09 AM on May 4, 2001

Am using Opera 4.02 with the images turned ON even - the ad doesn't do a dang thing - just a still image! *evil glee* On the other hand, I miss out on being able to complain. Dang!
posted by thunder at 10:11 AM on May 4, 2001

It now seems that the front page is taking FORVER to load. I mean, they've nearly doubled their page load times and shit and stuff.

I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.
posted by solistrato at 10:14 AM on May 4, 2001

Arg. You know, I despise these silly things as much as anybody. But in the end, there's still the basic question -

Who's paying the bills?

It's pretty darn obvious that we're not. I can't remember the last time I sent cash to a website. I never had anyone send cash to me, either, just because I provided them with a helpful online service or package of information.

So, what's all the ballyhoo about stupid ads? Speaking as a dope who earns his food and rent out here on the weird frontier, it's kind of irritating.

Whether it be form or function, whether it is effective expenditure of advertising funds or not, money makes the machine work. Lately, here in the Philly area, CNN has been invaded by a commercial for Micheal Flatley's "FEET OF FLAMES!" Every other commercial is the fruitloop tapdancer with a fiddle twanging away and CGI flames at his tootsies.

I would sooner drink battery acid than see Flathead prance some more, and I would rather have ebola injected into my testicles than actually pay money to go to the event. But, somehow I manage not to hurl invective about big mean CNN having the gall to put this intrusion before me. Oh well - it's Headline News for me, now: CNN has invalidated themselves with this bad, nasty commercial that has momentarily distracted my superior mind.

Feh. How dare McDonald's charge me for this food; and what's the deal with this phone bill? ~SIGH~

Arg. Ok, so I'm off the soapbox. The fact is, this too will pass. One way or another, a profit model will stabilize. But at the moment, let's remember we're in a media development stage that roughly approximates television in 1949 - no matter how much we want it otherwise, we're going to have to sit through a good decade of blood, sweat and tears transition before the Internet even ALMOST works the way we think it should.

So, till then, pull up a bag of popcorn and deal with it for whatever it's worth, thorns and all, or turn the darn thing off and go on a quest for your profitless Nirvana.
posted by Perigee at 10:29 AM on May 4, 2001

Today must be a new direction for Yahoo, because I just received my first yahoogroups (eGroups) message with a banner ad in it (even though I don't remember allowing HTML email for that group).

I hope they make the "give us $50 and we'll remove the ads" option easier for yahoogroups owners.
posted by mathowie at 10:36 AM on May 4, 2001

Who is still using Yahoo?!

Genuine quote from the other day:
Someone was complaining about how slow Yahoo was running for them. Since she was trying to search by the site's name, I asked "Why not use Google?" She responded, "Well, I'm looking for a site which is only available on Yahoo."
My mind was just blown.
posted by darukaru at 10:44 AM on May 4, 2001

has anyone seen the companion pieces to this campaign?
for the past 2 weeks, i've been walking past this huge sign, which i just realized yesterday was a billboard for the new explorer 2. the sign is covered with birdseed which slowly reveales the sign from (top to bottom) as the birds eat the feed which is dispensed from the bottom of the sign. a slight problem though- the birds don't like the birdseed. i'm in the west end of dallas- there are tons of pigeons around, but i've never seen any feeding there. i think the promoters have been removing it themselves...
posted by designflea at 10:46 AM on May 4, 2001

So was this "unleash interstitials onto the public" week? I noticed many of my favorite sites suddenly have interstitial ads (pop-up windows) all at the same time. It would make sense if it were a concerted effort, so users don't get pissed at one particular site, they just get pissed at the Internet at large and resign their offense. (It also makes sense if all these sites are using the same ad provider...) Very clever.
posted by dan_of_brainlog at 11:07 AM on May 4, 2001

Today must be a new direction for Yahoo, because I just received my first yahoogroups (eGroups) message with a banner ad in it (even though I don't remember allowing HTML email for that group).

No, that's not new, unfortunately. I've been getting them for a while. But hey, at least you're getting Yahoo Groups emails; all my Yahoo lists stopped delivering to me three days ago for no reason.
posted by aaron at 11:33 AM on May 4, 2001

the whole internet is starting to look like the 1930's

everybody's selling apples on the street corner where they can.
posted by brucec at 11:35 AM on May 4, 2001

dan, interstitials are not the same as pop-ups. MSNBC uses interstitials, which are whole pages which load, pause, then continue to the page you want. Pop-ups appear alongside. Just to clarify terminology here.

I have been very frustrated at the pop-up mania of the last month: it seems many high-profile sites (CNN, Chi Trib) are jumping on this bandwagon. I suppose advertisers pay more per impression than for banners, these days. It's really horrible when they don't set a cookie and you get the pop-up six or eight times at the same website (and it's not even a different ad!) -- so I downloaded trials for webwasher and junkbuster for the first time.

For my part, I didn't see this shoshkele at Yahoo, after loading the page twice. Maybe they were running an experiment, or only so many impressions were paid for. Maybe it blew something up.

I also noticed that Yahoo's setFocus event that recently was added (like Google) to place the cursor in the search window, no longer does. Wait, they did try that, right? Maybe I'm wrong.
posted by dhartung at 12:33 PM on May 4, 2001

All hail The Proxomitron!
posted by whuppy at 12:36 PM on May 4, 2001

I can hear Jakob now: et tu Yahoo? I now declare you 99% bad. Just the Flash detection scripts weigh more Kb than the old page.
posted by tremendo at 12:46 PM on May 4, 2001

I dunno...the crows are sorta cute, but beyond that, WHO CARES? If you don't like 'em, ignore 'em. If you do, sit there for hours and be amused. Nobody is being held at gunpoint and forced to load Yahoo! time after time after time just to watch the silly crows. No big whoop. Moving right along...
posted by davidmsc at 1:33 PM on May 4, 2001

Looks like from all these comments that the ad did exactly what it was supposed to do. I know the flying birds caught my eye the first time I noticed them. The only problem was it took me a couple page views. The birds don't move right away and since I usually immediately click on the e-mail button, I didn't catch it in time. Pretty cool use of not-too-obtrusive advertising though.
posted by fresh-n-minty at 7:58 PM on May 4, 2001

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