New web ads:
April 27, 2001 11:57 AM   Subscribe

New web ads: one, two. what do you think? Good balance between ad friendly/obnoxious?
posted by owillis (31 comments total)
Here's the scoop on the ads. I find them pretty obnoxious, personally.
posted by jpoulos at 12:10 PM on April 27, 2001

I'll take mine straight up with out the shoshkeles, please.
posted by briank at 12:16 PM on April 27, 2001

Well, I'd have to say they're clever. But clever isn't everything, it sure didn't make me want to buy anything.

Plus, whatever happened to the general sanctity of content? Not being pompous here, but really, doesn't the animated sock draped over the text take away from the impact/validity/gravity/general value of whatever information it may contain? I'd say it does so far more than an ad nearby on the same page ever would.

I've even seen ads sort of like this on MSNBC where they (editorial staff) scoffed at me when I prototyped DHTML ads that rode across the screen & vanished. They just smack of desperation to me, gimmicky but innefective.
posted by kokogiak at 12:16 PM on April 27, 2001

I find them both intrusive - which means, I suppose, that they're actually working -but if forced to choose the lesser of two evils, I would select the first (the rolling delivery truck). Much less of the total page is used to display it and it doesn't cover it's entire space all at once. I see it, I take in what it's telling me, and I move on. The second option (the laundry line) is much too much like television advertising, "I'm not going to let you see what you want to see until you see what I want you to see." That model is essentially the reason that I never watch broadcast television.
posted by m.polo at 12:19 PM on April 27, 2001

Cute, I guess, in a 123Greetings kind of way. Not that they would induce me to actually buy anything.

But then it crashed out my webradio stream, earning my undying enmity.
posted by Skot at 12:22 PM on April 27, 2001

It made me want to leave the page right away....oh, that wasn't the point?
posted by 120degrees at 12:25 PM on April 27, 2001

ding says grade-A annoying
posted by ding at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2001

It doesn't matter what we think of them. The advertisers will bask in the media attention that this stunt provides them. Then next month they will examine their logs. They'll compare how much clickthrough this ad got compared to the standard banner ads, then they'll compare the price to produce each, then they'll decide that banner ads were more cost effective.

We've done all this before. Years ago. It didn't work then either. Not because people found the ads too annoying, or intrusive (though people did), but because the ads, dollar for dollar, weren't more effective than banner ads. They were also much harder to pass around to all the sites that were going to run them, putting the ads up caused a significant disruption in the production schedule of the sites. And the site would find that it was spending more money in salary hiring a specialist that understood how to get the ads together on the page then they were making on the sale of the ad itself. Most of these ads experiments are given away for free to a big client to show them that the site is "committed" to making online advertising work.

If Doubleclick and the other advertising outsourcers, or ad management systems start supporting these type of advertisements, then perhaps it will take off (baring user revolt). Until it is as easy to put up as an ad banner, I don't see a future for any alternate advertising form.
posted by captaincursor at 12:52 PM on April 27, 2001

I'd call that a good balance between irritating and obnoxious.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 12:53 PM on April 27, 2001

I though the ads were fairly good as branding tools--assuming they're used very sparsely. On the other hand, were they supposed to be clicked on?
posted by ParisParamus at 1:00 PM on April 27, 2001

i think it grabs your attention. right now i like it and from a marketing standpoint it's a step int he right direction. it's more interactive and part of the page rather than a banner than you simply ignore while reading your article. it's a novelty and will probably start to get annoying as every web site begins to implement it but at least it's better than the banners.
posted by suprfli at 1:13 PM on April 27, 2001

Matt Kingston pointed these out the other day. My "favorite" of those in their gallery is the ad for Showtime that puts a Tyson PPV offer on top of an encyclopedia entry for "boxing day". Egads, someone please put a human in the process.
posted by bradlands at 1:16 PM on April 27, 2001

I did my best to give both of these an open mind. Page comes up, it's got my this-is-a-famous-newspaper attitude and attention. Then all of a sudden I'm watching the Cartoon Network. It left behind an impression of lack of dignity -- now the whole site feels like a joke, as if the Globe were printed on underpants.
posted by jfuller at 1:18 PM on April 27, 2001

I first saw these yesterday on the Hit-Or-Miss blog of Matthew Kingston. He has a link to a gallery of examples. I absolutely hate the ones that cover what you're trying to read. I pretty much hate them, period, and they do not make me want to click through. But I guess content has to be supported some way. If we must see ads like this, I hope they are at least creative and somewhat entertaining.
posted by sixdifferentways at 1:20 PM on April 27, 2001

They're totally obnoxious....but I had no choice to notice them, which is why I've always said that current ads are worthless - far too easy to close a popup before it's even fully displayed, or just visually ignore an in-place banner. My guess is we'll see a lot more crap like this.
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 1:23 PM on April 27, 2001

1) They're too damn big. 87K for a single ad on an already-weighty front page? I wouldn't put up with that on a dial-up connection. This is more than enough to get those users to never go there again.

2) The editorial staff must be going apoplectic. You just don't put ads on top of the stories.
posted by aaron at 1:51 PM on April 27, 2001

ParisParamus: I though the ads were fairly good as branding tools

Them little things? Hell, son, these are branding tools.
posted by rodii at 2:03 PM on April 27, 2001

I'd like to see Robert Smigel try to resuscitate Web ads.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:06 PM on April 27, 2001

> You just don't put ads on top of the stories.

Well, at least it makes it indelibly clear what the priorities are. You know, I really do hope CNN goes ahead and hires that woman to be a topless anchorperson.
posted by jfuller at 2:20 PM on April 27, 2001

I've yet to see a functioning version of one of these ads whose name I refuse to say or even type. Notice that every time you see one, it's a flash mockup of what they're "going to" look like. I'd be really excited (okay, maybe that's an overstatement) to see how they're planning to implement these on a real page, and how many browsers they'll actually display in. Will there be problems with them affecting the functionality of the content they're moving over? How much longer will development time be for one of these things as compared to your standard animated gif? How much more is one going to cost the advertiser? Will they generate enough click-throughs to offset the price increase? And most importantly, can we PLEASE get "punch the monkey" running back and forth across our morning newspaper? thanks.
posted by chrisege at 2:27 PM on April 27, 2001

Here's a question: how effective are newspaper ads? Conversely, what kind of "rates" were being charged for the banner ads; in other words, do banner ads not work, or were unrealistic promises being made? To put it another way, for years in the New York Times I've seen an ad, maybe 3" x 3" for an NYC tailor who makes custom-made suits at a very attractive price. Now it's taken years, but I'm now almost at the point where I can recall the name of the tailor (starts with an "M"). Isn't this the kind of standard a web ad must be judged against?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:29 PM on April 27, 2001

Some previous MeFi discussion of shoskeles.

Me? Actually, I didn't mind them. One of them I didn't even see -- because I opened the page in a new window and didn't return until it appeared to have loaded in my taskbar. Nada. So I hit refresh and saw it. Sure, the folks who use their one browser window like a TV will have to sit through it ...
posted by dhartung at 2:33 PM on April 27, 2001

You just don't put ads on top of the stories.

How about occasionally running the stories on top of ads?!
posted by ParisParamus at 2:43 PM on April 27, 2001

It's like paying 400% more to get a special edition of the yellow pages printed on glossy stock so your four-color pictures will pop.

Of course the customers throw the books away because they weigh 35 lbs each, but gee don't the ads look nice?

We're gonna have to grow up pretty soon before everybody starves to death.
posted by steve_high at 4:05 PM on April 27, 2001

I'm thinking of doing some sort of ad based-technology/service thingamabob, if anyone is interested (especially if you can program in some language -c/java) please email me
posted by owillis at 6:22 PM on April 27, 2001

Maybe the real problem is that the products being advertised suck?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:35 PM on April 27, 2001

I'm awfully fond of Suck's take on clickthroughs, from Monday:

After all, the point of a commercial is not to grab audience attention but to grab audience inattention. It doesn't take Dr. Wilson Bryan Key to figure out that advertising works best when you're not really thinking about it. Hands-on user involvement of the sort implied in a clickthrough is actually the worst thing that could happen to an ad. Do you really want customers thinking clearly about your ad's inflated claims and bogus sloganeering, seriously assessing the minute distinctions between your online flower delivery service and the dozen or so others?
posted by darukaru at 7:04 PM on April 27, 2001

I agree that they CAN be annoying. However, as a resident of Boston and a sad (but true!) supporter or the Sox, I was elated while checking out the page! I can see how these would be annoying though, which is why I think they *could* be of value on sites, such as, where visitors are likely to be charmed by such things. But if you're going to Salon or CNET, and a bunch of XP icons started floating about...yeah, I can see how that could become tiresome!
posted by kphaley454 at 7:43 PM on April 27, 2001

Perhaps I'm tilting at windmills, but I'd like to create an ad format and group of web publishers that accomplishes the task of : 1. showing that online branding works, 2. not innundating the user with 1bill ads, 3. not pissing off the user
posted by owillis at 8:57 PM on April 27, 2001

I'm sure it won't take webwasher long to come up with an update to remove these things as well.

Me, I thought they were horrible. Horrible horrible, intrusive, annoying and bandwidth-unfriendly. May they die an agonising death in the fiery pits of hell.
posted by salmacis at 6:07 AM on April 30, 2001

But what did you really think of them?
posted by rodii at 4:33 PM on April 30, 2001

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