Wanted: a new way of advertising on the web

I hate adverts. Even at the best of times, 95% of them are irritating, badly made and most importantly are not relevant to me. Today I visited a website to gain some information. Had I known how badly I was going to hate myself afterwards, I wouldn’t have bothered. To be honest, this particualr time wasn’t as bad as I have experienced, but it made enough of an impact on me to tweet about it almost immediately afterwards.

I understand that website operators are often forced to run adverts, just to stay afloat, but it’s often the way they are implemented which really does force me to reconsider my clickage. Todays example forced me to manually close two particularly invasive adverts which were hovering over the text that I wanted to read. That’s not advertising people, that’s just plain annoying. There’s putting things where you can see them, and then there’s actively inhibiting a users intentions. Imagine you wanted to use a cash machine, and everytime you went to use it, a little mn in a green money motifed suit would jump out and explain the benefits of opening a stupendous super saver account. Would it be just annoying? Or would it force you to move bank?

As aforementioned, I have no problem with adverts on sites, provided they are implemented in a way which does not leave me wanting to write blog posts about them. Now, many of you are probably sitting there thinking, “Ah-ha, but the advertising people did their job, I bet you know what the products were? Right?” Actually….No. I can honestly say I do not have a clue what those particular adverts were about. Nor do I remember the adverts that we have click through to get to the content we require. It begs the question, is it just me? Am I in a minority that are somehow not “impregnated” with the advertisers seed of interest? Do many people seriously get sidtracked into a barrage of adverts which are so delightful to them, that they completely forgot what they googled for in the first place?

If I’m not a minority, if there are others out there who feel the same way I do, then I feel sorry for the website operators who are potentially missing out on visitors, purely because the advertisers are driving them away. It reminds me of the other tactic sites often use, of requiring users to sign up to some kind of forum, before they will allow them to view content. This tactic is both annoying and unnecessary and it seems is often nothing more than a ploy to collect email addresses for some, unknown reason.

Maybe I’m going crazy, maybe I just don’t understand the “new” web. I’ve been here since the mid 90s, when adverts consisted of “marquee” scrolling text in IE. Have I really got it so wrong? Does everyone want to be submerged in a sea of marketting scrawl? I’d be very interested to hear your feedback.

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  1. Yeah, these days advertising is prevalent online that it’s become nothing but a constant buzz of background noise distracting me from what I’m trying to do. Simply getting into one’s face does not insure mindshare the way it once did. And just as an especially good or engaging ad will encourage me to purchase or investigate a product, an especially invasive one will encourage me to actively avoid and badmouth said product.

    I actually don’t mind basic adds along the side of a page or moderately sized ones within the content, but animated, unmutable video adds; adds that pop into existence over the content, obnoxiously colored banners, and click-thru adds and just obnoxious and serve no purpose other than the fuels the downloads of more and more sophisticated ad-blocking software.

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