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The Internet

Bringing Interruption-Based Ads To the Web 212

Andy Smith writes "British production company Celador is to launch an Internet version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? as reported in this BBC story. This may interest Slashdot readers because the online competition, which will be free to enter, will feature "e-mercials". It's commonly accepted nowadays that the Net's traditional forms of advertising (banners, pop-ups and spam) have a very low success rate, so it seems inevitable that the next step is interruption-based advertising, which has worked fine for TV and radio. The Millionaire web site will display 7 second ads between rounds, and the player must watch them before continuing. E-mercials couldn't arrive in a more high-profile way, so once the online version of Millionaire launches we can expect to see similar ad systems used all over the web." Actually, rollouts of this have already been attempted - the media agencies called them "interstitals" and they are supposed to be 5 seconds between pages or so. Some of the drive behind this is that selling interruption-based ads is easier, because the media buyers who bought TV/radio ads are well familar with them.
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Bringing Interruption-Based Ads To the Web

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They call it a failure because if they called it a success they would reveal to their clients the long-hidden fact that advertising is overrated and overpriced.

  • ... is that as they get more advanced in trying to stick ads in our faces, we'll get more advanced in avoiding them. Banner ads are removed by junkbuster, TIVO makes tv advertisments a non-issue, and CDs and mp3s make radio pretty much obselite. Why do they think that people arne't going to get around this with a simple checkbox in their browser of choice that says "avoid interruption based ads [x]"

    They'll come back with some way around this, browser writers will come back with a better version, etc etc etc. Why can't they just realize that advertising doesn't work (or web advertising doesn't work) and leave us the hell alone! If they found a better way of advertising that DIDN'T piss off consumers, people would be happier? Know why we don't object all that much anymore to banner ads? We've learned to ignore them, so we don't bitch, and they are basically just something to scroll off the top of the screen when you start reading a page. This is the symbiosis we've attained with the advertising agencies on the net, and it's comfortable. I guess now they are realizing "hey, banner ads don't work! lets find a way to be more annoying and obnoxious". What they should say is "hey web advertising doesn't work! lets find a way to be more effective and more helpful".

    My $0.02
  • You're watching an idiom evolve right before your eyes! You can impress your grandkids (or bore them to death) when you can explain that you were *there* when they first set up us the bomb. :)
  • You make an excellent point. The reasoning that web ads are not working is flawed. 1 - An ad banner shows up when you are in the middle of doing SOMETHING ELSE at the time. Even if the ad is effective at making you want to go take a look at the product, it doesn't mean you want to do so RIGHT NOW. Right now you are in the middle of looking at something else. You'll file away the banner ad for later. After all, a TV ad for a widget isn't going to make you get up and use the phone RIGHT NOW to order one if your favorite show is going to be "right back after these messages..." That doesn't mean you won't go check it out later, when you are in the mood for buying something. Summary: An ad doesn't need to be effective this very second in order to be effective overall in the long run.

    Who says TV ads have a better immediate response? You can measure web banner click-throughs, but that's meaningles in comparasins to other media where there's nothing similar to measure. For all they know, the TV ads may be just as ineffective as the web ads are. Most viewers have gotten quite skilled at totally ignoring the commercials on TV. But, since they can't measure anything with TV ads, they are willing to spend the money on them just because they *believe* they are working.

    In practice, in the TV medium, the typical interruption advertisement format doesn't result in me wanting to buy the product. It results in me reaching for the remote control to 'surf' for a minute or two until the ad block is over. I think this is fairly typical for a lot of viewers.

  • I beg to differ. Have you ever tried to call one of those 1-800 numbers while the commercial is still playing? It's impossible. Thousands of pavlovian simpletons call RIGHT NOW! Just like the ad commands them to.

    I've never been enough of a Pavlovian simpleton to try calling those numbers, so I hadn't noticed the busy-signal problem you are talking about. I find it humourous that you complain about the simpletons calling the numbers while at the same time admitting that you were doing the same thing yourself.

    As to your second point, the times I've ever been looking to buy a product online (the times during which there is a chance I might have immediately clicked on a banner ad because it actually is what I was looking for), anyway, those times I've always found the actual search engine's own result list more useful than the banner ads. If I want to buy a Foo Widget, I'm doing a web search for "Foo Widget". The result list from the search engine is many times more on-topic than any banner ads that pop up. I've even seen a banner ad pop up from the very same place that was on the top of the result list anyway. Where am I going with this? Well, that the only times a banner ad would have gotten a clickthrough from me are ALL times in which I'm already looking at the stuff the ad is trying to sell me. The ad is then nothing more than a redundant link that goes to the same URL I would have visited anyway.

    I still stand by the idea that clickthrough measurement is a naive way to measure the effectiveness of an ad.

  • Then people would be... wait for it... web surfing! Tada!
  • Actually, I've been wondering how long it would take for DTV services to implement a suitable feedback scheme for commercials. There are certain commercials that I would love to give 3 Thumbs-Downs too. There are others that I would be willing to give a Thumbs-UP to. While there are others that just make me want to destroy my television or cut my coax cable.
  • What hardware do you use for this?
  • You can't even download a complete page these days in 5-7 seconds, much less an animated GIF. How is this supposed to work if you don't have broadband access?

    This will also give the masses yet another (good) reason to turn off JavaScript.

    Schwab

  • The s/n on banner ads is too high.

    I think you mean the SNR is too low (as in, not much signal for the amount of noise). I tend to agree. The couple times I have clicked on a banner, I get dropped into some noisy top-level page that has nothing to do with the content of the ad. Either that, or a page that says "Click here to add to your shopping cart", with little detail about the product or the company.

    *sigh*

    --Joe
    --
  • by Mr Z ( 6791 )
    I think this can be expanded to *any* product. If you're Johnson and Johnson, create the home healthcare, health, and self improvement pages. Don't bother too heavily with product placement, I don't think, but when people start associating 'health' and 'wellness' with J&J, they've done good advertsing.

    Actually, there are sites that are starting to do something like that, if in a less proactive way. Rather than host the sites themselves, they sponsor sites which meet those criteria. Of course, the lack of impartiality on company-sponsored sites can make them less attractive. That's why you end up sometimes with "astroturf" sites which appear to be impartial by not disclosing their sponsorship, but are not... :-P Ah well.

    Here's one example I came across recently: The website www.feline-behavior.com [feline-behavior.com] seems to be sponsored by Friskies Cat Food. [friskiescatfood.com] Makes perfect sense, I suppose.

    --Joe
    --
  • You're missing the fact that less than 1% of all on-line advertising is banner ads that pay on click-through. Traditional radio/tv/print adversiting is indeed what is failing.
  • by PD ( 9577 )
    It all calls money. Companies that have no problem dropping millions for a 30 second superbowl spot somehow think that their IT department should be a profit center, and they make techies life hard when their websites cost more than they make.

    That sort of silliness reminds me of Jostens. Jostens is a company that makes class rings. Anyway, some moron in that company looked around at their computer staff and figured out that they had a negative monetary balance for their department. How to solve that problem? Make the IT department a profit center! They could hire them out to build systems for other companies. Everyone would be profitable and happy. WRONG! After getting spanked hard, they stopped that nonsense. Somewhere along the line they forgot that the IT department is a *cost* associated with doing business, just like marketing. Companies need to realize that websites are the same thing. They will probably lose money, but if they are done right, they will help to drive business to other parts of the company.

  • Jeez man, your article reminds me of a commercial for dictionaries!

  • Advertising is the most pernicious odiosity perpetrated on modern man. One side is propaganda , perfidy and blatant bull, the other is an incredibly low rate of return which is deemed acceptable because its not zero (but dollar for dollar, the results are about comparable with the lottery.)

    Open a site, put on it where you are, when you're open, what your wares and prices are and we'll find you when we want you.

    Until then: Shut up!

    I boycott any advertiser that shoves itself in my face on the web.
  • I could easily imagine a program similar to webwasher (or junkbusters, if that's more to your liking) which acts as a proxy between your browser and the web server. If it detects a Click-Me-Cuz-Im-A-Moron-Who-Likes-To-Make-Your-Bro wser-Drool-Until-You-Read-My-Ads page, it might not give the page back to the browser, instead it will intercept the response and issue the click (or, alternatively, ignore the JS timeout) and return the final destination (or a redirection) page to your browser.

    Granted, this would be more complex than the webwashers of today, but I don't see anything technologically impossible about it (after all, web servers already can redirect us with simple HTTP headers). The fact of the matter is that the content providers do not (and should not) have complete control over the client's computer. Unless they can use bigger webserver resources by stalling their sends (for, say, enough time to read the ad at the top of the page), then there isn't much they can do.

  • .. has done this since the beginning.

    Bah.
  • ``Some of the drive behind this is that selling interruption-based ads is easier, because the media buyers who bought TV/radio ads are well familar with them.''

    The reason that people don't watch as much television (at least the people I know) is they're sick to death of ``interruption-based ads''. They're not as effective as they think. I rarely watch them on TV... I use the time they're on to go to the bathroom, raid the refrigerator, read a bit of my snail mail or the newspaper.

    When will the ``media buyers'' figure out that the internet is not television? Sites that try to recreate the so-called television experience on my computer will not have me as a visitor. How many of those free internet connection portals that required that you click through an advertisement every so often are still around? Not many I'll bet and ``interruption-based ads'' are probably the reason.



    --

  • ``Now, instead of the relatively long (30-60sec) T.V. Commercials, we have 7 second commercials. The next generation is not going to be able to focus reliably on anything if we continue to shorten the collective attention span. Does anyone else think that perhaps shortening the length and increasing the intensity of advertisements is a bad thing?''

    Actually, I think the plan is that they'll shorten the ads to the point that they're virtually subliminal but not short enough to be illegal (assuming, of course, that subliminal ads are still illegal). Before long, you won't even notice the ads.



    --

  • You know, there's this thing called TiVo and...

    It even runs Linux fer chrissakes!


    You really don't get it, do you? Nor do you know much about TiVo, do you? You cannot build your own video library with TiVo, unless you first output the signal in analog format (read: you lose quality). Your viewing habits are public knowledge, or at least purchasable for the right price, etc. etc.

    If you want to be a serf, forced to submit to the whims and limitations the Copyright Cartels choose to impose upon you, with your viewing habits recorded and made available to marketing enterprises with their own, not your, interests at heart, be my guest. If instead you wish to retain your rights to fair use, record and archive the programs and movies you wish, under your own terms (and with better quality), then may I suggest thinking outside of the box just a little?
  • An old dual PII/450 box running Mandrake 8.0 beta 2 (I was also doing this using Mandrake 7.2).

    • Sony DVMC-DA2 Media Converter (converts the analog signal to firewire -- I've also used a mini-dv camcorder to do this, but prefer the media converter. I am replacing it with a Hollywood media converter, as the Sony only does NTSC and I have some home videos in PAL I wish to convert, so if you're buying new hardware I suggest the Hollywood over the Sony kit)
    • TI OHCI Compliant FireWire Controller
    • 75 GB IDE UDMA/100 driver w/ Promise controller
    • I have 512 MB RAM, but that is way more than is needed ... 128 MB should be plenty
    • CD-R drive for burning final result to CD

      (One hour dv video requires ~12 GB as avi's).

      Details on the software I use can be found here [kuro5hin.org]
  • The details on how I go about this are here [kuro5hin.org], but to answer your question: I do use dvgrab for the actual capture. MainActor is used soley for the non-linear editing of the product, in order to cut out commercials and cruft preceeding (and following) the actual program (dv grab captures the video, but it does not filter commercials or do any kind of editing).

    Yes, it is a little tedious ... editing the footage takes about twenty minutes, and the renders to MJPEG avi format take several hours, as does the final conversion to DivX. The latter isn't an issue, really, as I fire off the MJPEG renders in parallel before going to bed, then fire off the DivX conversion before leaving for work the next morning. That evening I burn the result to CD and watch it.

    Obviously this is something you only do for a program you really enjoy and want to add to your personal video library, not something you are just casually watching.

    Of course, PBS broadcasts are much easier, as there is almost no editing out of the commercials involved.
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @12:33PM (#336766)
    I don't know about the general viewer, but when I watch TV, I change the channel when the commercials come on.

    I watch (and record) Babylon 5 religiously. However, I don't watch it at 6:00 PM CDT when it comes on the Sci-Fi channel. Instead, I capture the signal using a firewire converter box (Sony) and host adapter to my Linux box using dvgrab. Once the episode is recorded I fire up MainActor, snip out the commercials and splice the various parts together (moving the intro sequence to the beginning for good measure), then convert the resulting product to divx and burn to CD.

    I end up watching each episode a day or so later (usually while the current episode is recording), but I do so without any commercial interruptions of any kind. Once I've watched the episode I put the freshly burned CD in a booklet with a hundred or so others. I already have most of season 4, all of season 5, and am currently getting season's 1 through 4. In the end I'll have every episode of my favorite show on CD, and have watched every episode without having seen a single commercial.

    Not everyone is interested in taking the time to edit out commercials of course, but for those programs one really enjoys, viewing the show without interruption enhances the experience immensly and is well worth waiting a day or so to watch (while the render and conversion take place overnight).
  • we already have ad filters that catch a bulk of the ad's. I'm sure the ad filter programmers are chomping at the bit to block these puppies too. If it's javascript then it can be killed easily, otherwise it will just take a clever programmer about 3 days to figure out how to block them.

    It's kinda silly that advertisers are shoving this media heavy ad's at us when less than 15% of the US has broadband access in the homes. I use junkbuster to save what little bandwith I have now. Imagine 1.2meg quicktime ro macromedia files shoved at you for no other reason but to annoy you just because these marketing people have not a brain in their head when it comes to technology.

    Your TV commercials take 30megabytes per 30 second spot for TV quality.(and that's with our industry standard of mpeg2 compression.)

  • Amen! I think the thing I dislike about banner ads is that they're bugging me while I'm trying to pay attention to the content. With YDKJ online, I can play the game without any outside distractions, then sit back and watch the commercials. (And I usually do watch the commercials -- They're pretty entertaining in their own right, since they can focus on being funny/clever instead of trying to grab my attention away from whatever I'm reading.)

  • by mr_burns ( 13129 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @03:50PM (#336769)
    Seriously, I haven't purchased anything I haven't actively sought out in years.

    The fact is that the real way advertising works evades even the advertisers. It works by numbing your mind into not listening.

    Market research is conducted to pinpoint empty pockets of market demand. Businessmen who know what they're doing enter only these market segments.

    The fact is they know that consumers are already looking for this good or service, and they know where they looked for it already. All they have to do is create it and put it in the right place. Consumers will find it and they will sell their product.

    All the ads do is numb your brain into deafness, so that people aren't able to tell you NOT to buy products. Think about it, when commercials come on, your brain turns off. You only really retain the info you willingly made yourself open to. When somebody tries to tell you something new that you weren't already open to...you don't listen.

    This is why people listen to o-town, when the band next door keeping them up at night is the next beatles.

  • Instead of "Who wants to be a millionaire", how about /. hosts "Who-wants-to-prove-they-never-stop-refreshing-the -slashdot-page-so-let's-try-to-get-the-first-post- and-yet-miss-it-barely,-and-annoy-those-folks-who- actually-have-something-useful-to-say-or-who-would -like-to-read-actual-content-instead-of-a-14-year- old-unloading-his-pimples-on-us"?

    I mean, come ON... what is with the s-to-n ratio here lately?

    On-Topic - I will have to remove the fake hosts file which maps all those ad servers to localhost now. 8^( sigh...

    Jethro
  • If John Deere wants to advertise it's mowers and stuff, what they can do (and probably should!) is to host and design gardening, landscaping, and home-maintainance websites!

    There are plenty of examples of this type of site already on the web. One of my personal favorites (WARNING: shameless plug) is the home page for Weber [weber.com] (as in the manufacturer of outdoor grills). I found a fantastic salmon recipe [weber.com] there which I use whenever I have the chance.

    The only problem here is that you're never going to see any information critical of Weber on that site. These sites can generate customers, but not unless they come there looking specifically for you. For example, I never bothered to even look at Weber's site until after I'd already selected my grill, a decision made with a little help from Consumer Reports. From an advertising perspective, other than creating a little bit more in the way of "brand awareness" for me, this had precisely zero value. And for information on non-Weber products, I'm going to look somewhere considerably less professional looking [barbecuen.com], but with a good deal of info.

    More importantly, this creates a huge burden on would-be advertisers. It used to be that to sell a product, you got a few (possibly fake) testimonials, whipped up a contest, and generally tried to convince everyone that your product was the best thing since sliced bread. Using the mini-portal method, suddenly every manufacturer of every type of product has to become an information clearinghouse on their own website. Here's a news flash: I'm not looking for everybody who wants to sell to me to impress me with their knowledge of whatever. I'm looking for a good deal. And that's the kind of thing that good old ads - the kind that take a second or two to read - are good for.

  • Time to send all these people to http://www.permission.com/ [permission.com] and make them read. Permission Marketing is really good book that I think most Slashdot'rs would say "Yes - this is the way it always should have been."

    Godin must be shaking his head over this one. A big step backward.

    In case you are wondering what Permission Marketing is all about. A few highlights:

    • People's attention is a limited resource. There is only so much time during the day to look at ads, even if you want to, and the amount of that resource is non-negotiable.
    • The more money spent on Interruption Marketing the more effective Permission Marketing is.
    • Permission Marketing is not SPAM but it can be if you are not careful.
    • Interruption Marketing is shotgun. Maybe you'll hit something.
    • Permission Marketing is a smart bomb. You don't "fire" until you know what you intend to "hit."
    • Permission Marketing is more work but more cost effective.
    I work for an advertising firm and even I think web advertising is being done wrong.
    --
  • Um, this isn't a particularly original idea. If you ever played "You Don't Know Jack" on-line, it did the same thing. There were two ad breaks in the middle of it and usually a third break where they had an amusing fake advertisement.

    ---

  • Grrr. Damn companies trying to trick everyone into thinking that the web is the only reason to use the internet. The web could go away, and I'd be happy with just ssh and SMTP.
  • The business model of ad-based web-sites is fundamentally flawed, whether passive or active in-your-face. Think of why we browse ... we are activitely hunting for a specific (or fuzzy) piece of information. Any distractions, no matter how amusing initially, is a waste of time/energy. Just like email has become the defacto asynchronoous communications and SMS the instant pager and chat the social background noise, the web is the equivalent of scanning/comparison. This is distinct from window shopping or TV channel-shopping.

    If you look at the porn sites, they accept that the feeder sites are there to filter and sort out the desires of human browsers and grant a finder's fee if that person converts to a full subscription-based site. This model has shown to work. Some catalogs which aim to build bulk purchases appear to work. Library based access fees also seem to work for large or unique archives (e.g. MedLine). Pay-per-page/view/download does not when the user has no idea of the end-quality unless there's a strong reputation behind it. Ad-backed sites at this stage do not appear to be relevant to consumers and are consequently discarded as noise unless pertinent to their immediate needs.

    Sheesh ... given all those epensive MBA's you'd think those guys and gals would have half a brain-cell to at least come up with an attractive alternative.

    LL
  • This article [salon.com] from Salon in 1998 talks about the Tampax site doing exactly what the poster was talking about.
  • OK, so he's a complete [expletive deleted], but at least Chris Tarrant makes UK Millionaire mildly engaging to watch. Will Celador be using him as their global front man, I wonder?
    --
    Dunx
  • IANAMT (I am not a marketing type) but from what I understand, part of the issue is the targeting of traditional ads.

    For example, say you're a pasta company. You notice your sales are slumping. You put a 30 second ad on during Days of Our Lives, which the network assures you is number one program in its time slot among 20-40 year old women. Your marketing data has shown you that 20-40 year old women make a lot of decisions on who buys pasta.

    Within weeks, your pasta sales are up. Not only that, but your grocery stores tell you (through their nice discount cards) that sales of your product are up 10% in the Female 20-40 demographic.

    You can now say your ad campaign was a "success."
  • just log into excite.com 's games section.. they have "intermission" quite frequently..of course.. their version of intermission is disabling the game, switching to a full ad, and then returning after a minute. As scary as it is, it works.
  • I believe I read somewhere that television (at least as presented in the US) is the perfect medium to cause people to grow up with and develop ADHD.

    Slashdot being the second best.

  • Reminds me of those current M$ ads about how interoperable and compatible they are with other machines. So annoying that I now hate to buy M$ products.

    ;)

    (Boy, I'm sure glad that M$ has helped out the Samba project so much...)

    But seriously, I do not and will not shop at Old Navy for precisely this reason.

  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @12:46PM (#336782) Homepage Journal
    As much as people here love MBA's, I'll post anyway:)

    You are correct. The main goal of advertising is to help name/brand recognition. The point is that when the customer is ready to buy, your product is one that they will associate with that need.

    There are of course many instances where this is not the case in the short term (coupons, vouchers, rebates, etc are the best examples) but the long term goal is still to keep your name in front of the consumer.

    That's why Coke buys so much ad space/time. They are number one in the cola market (and a large player in the overall beverage market) but their market dominance is new since about the mid 1980's. (Actually with the introduction of 'Classic Coke'.) Their market share and the money spent on ads are directly proportional. Ditto Pepsi, who has not spent anywhere near the money Coke has.

    (BTW, that MBA is with a specialization in IT, so I know how to manage you programmer drones. NOT!:)

  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @12:54PM (#336783) Homepage Journal
    There is nothing wrong with your browser.
    For the next 7 seconds, we will take control
    of your computer.
    We control the horizontal
    We control the vertical
    We control the Javascript.

  • Mozilla (Netscape 6) using the Gecko rendering engine doesn't render a page linearly as the older and other browsers do. Whatever info it has already downloaded is put on the screen right away, then the other, later arriving elements are slotted in when they finally do arrive.

    I find that on most websites the text comes up first, then when the ads and other images are received, they are popped onto the screen and the text rearranges itself around them.

    The rare times when I need to revert to using Netscape 4, I find myself feeling rather impatient as I sit for countless seconds staring at some stupid blinking ad on an otherwise blank screen. With Mozilla, I find myself more relaxed and my workflow less interupted.

    Trickster Coyote
    Reality is a consensual halluciation.
  • Absolutely.
    It would be really interesting to get the add companies data on the effectiveness of different forms of advertising, but unfortunately I have heard ( not checked ) that such data is difficult to get a hold of because each company has its own and it's all propritary. Does anyone have any good references on this ?
  • The free download version of "You don't know jack" had ads between the rounds that were part of the reason that it was free.

    Not to mention the "find the no-thanks button" style advertising on AOL and other cheap internet services (Juno?).

    This seems like a case of spin and hype trying to draw advertsers maybe - advertisers that have become disenchanted with banners as nearly everyone has learned to tune them out. It seems that netaddress is having problems as well - they have more and more ads every time I go there, including pop-ups for online mugging^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hgambling sites.

    Just another sign of the bottom falling out of things - correct me if I'm wrong here.

  • You sound overly optimistic. In reality many "free" community sites are drying up now that the ad revenue is gone (shacknews.com, Snowball/IGN network, SomethingAwful.com, Stomped.com, GameCenter.com).

    We'll have to see if micropayments/benefactor/street performer's protocol programs actually work. Ain't nothing for free...
  • by First Person ( 51018 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:14AM (#336790)

    Television has the limitation that, while you can interrupt the viewing experience, you don't know that the viewer actually saw the advertisement. The internet does not have this limitation. For a high demand environment such as a gameshow, the next logical step is to quiz the participant about the content of the ad.

    Blatent questions like 'What product was being sold' will not work. But imagine the more subtle ones. For instance, set a scene - Two girls are sitting down at a bar drinking a name brand beverage. Add some action - a handsome may walks by; from the front, he looks good but his shirt shows large iron burn on the back. Then ask the user for input - which response would be funniest: (A) I'd never date a guy who can't iron (B) I always dump <competing beverage brand> on my clothes when they start to burn or (C) at least <beverage brand> tastes good and looks good. The user may be forced to pay attention and possibly identify with the characters in the ad.

    Laugh now while you still can.

  • An excellant point. Actually, there are very few ways to measure ROI on TV and radio commercials (return on investment). The only way to do this on the web is the click-thru (since we cant count the number of people who looked at a banner rather than avoided it with their eyes.) The beauty of all this is it helps make underground, grass-roots media more attractive .. the sites which do not succumb to this style of advertising will enjoy some run-off of P.O'd viewers. Contrast this to television, where everything has ads; its an accepted fact that you cant avoid them on television. The net is quite different in this respect.
  • I HATE intersitals. These are about the only form of advertising that annoys me enough to write webmasters. One of my favorite weather sites (www.intellicast.com) started using intersitals. I wrote them ranting about how much I hated them, how annoying your customers isn't a good way to sell things, and just for good measure ranted a bit on how I didn't like their new directory structure. Interestingly, about a month later I a boiler plate reply, "We're sorry we've annoyed you.. we just want to make money to supply you with great content, blah blah" but the cool thing was it got forwarded to about 7 different people! I don't think the webmasters like uglifying their sites like this. The decisions are almost surely coming from managers. When you find an intersital, send off an email to the webmaster, you might just help them get their site un-uglified.

    Ian
  • by wass ( 72082 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:10AM (#336805)
    Okay, any marketing people here on slashdot? (oh no, i've invoked the demons). There's something about this I don't understand. My main confusion with this whole issue is how do they know that internet ads aren't working, but TV/radio/magazine/billboard/skywriting ads are?

    It seems that internet ads are probably the only ads they can actually keep track of how many people have followed the link. In terms of other ads, how will said companies know if they work? Ie, if I buy a bar of Ivory soap, or a Dell computer, how the hell do they know whether I bought it based on the TV commercial during the Simpsons, a billboard on I-95, a magazine ad in Knitting Today? In fact, how do they know how many people even look at ads in magazines, radio, TV, billboards, etc.

    People get numb to web ads after awhile, but so too with billboards on the highway. Yet billboards seem to be prospering. Radio and TV ads somewhat too.

    What has led these companies to determine that all other ad sources are a success, but internet ads are a failure?
    __ __ ____ _ ______
    \ V .V / _` (_-&#60_-&#60
    .\_/\_/\__,_/__/__/

  • by rkent ( 73434 ) <{ude.dravrah.tsop} {ta} {tnekr}> on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:17AM (#336806)
    Lemme tell ya, the shift to interstitials is not going to make web advertising more effective. I've already learned to blow away other invasive web ads, like popup ads, before they even load. If anything, this makes them less effective than banners, since I usually at least load those, even if I don't click on them.

    As far as interstitials in particular are concerned, I already browse with at least 2 windows open, because most sites are so slow that I want something else to read while they're loading... and I'm going to interpret a 5-second interstitial as yet another delay, I can tell you right now.

    Furthermore, it's a bit deceptive to say that interstitials "have worked just fine on TV." With an unprecedented amount of channel variety and choice, many people don't even SEE interstitial TV ads anymore... we just flip to the cooking channel. The direction TV is headed is product integration, like in "Survivor" when they got the Target(TM) gift pack or the Doritos(TM) and Pepsi(TM) picnic (which would have made me puke, incidentally, if I was starving in the middle of the desert). We've seen this in sports for a long time, but now it's to the point where they're working brands into the plot of TV shows.

    Unfortunately, I'd say we're going to see more of this kind of thing in web content. Except the problem is, the web isn't as entertainment rich as TV; it's more about communication and news. How are we going to get brands integrated?

  • IE users will be at a loss. NS users can download Mozilla, find some function like Javascript::delay(uint ms) {
    usleep(ms);
    return(0);
    } and just coment out the usleep() call :)
  • by Gaccm ( 80209 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @05:21PM (#336810)
    The birth of play back TV, with such products as real play and TiVo mark the end of the commercial. This products give power to a dumb TV set, let the end user have some say, and all have the ability to fast forward or jump 30secs ahead. Therefore interruption-based commercials will die. But, these products cant filter ads, thus any advertising In the show is seen.

    The computer is one of the most (or the most) programmable and powerful tool for the average person. While banner ads have been unsuccessful, why would more annoying interruption based ads be better?
    if giving power causes the death of interruption based ads for TV, how could it work on an amazingly more powerful machine? the logic behind all this is flawed. all a user would need to do is store the feed on their hard drive, and either filter out the ads somehow or just fastforward.
    My guess is that these ads will grow very quickly, but once there is an easy to use tool for the general public, pop, the ads will be gone.
  • It started with Berkeley Systems games (or even earlier perhaps) in 1997 or so. ACROphobia and You Don't Know Jack Online had between-round interstitial advertising. And people chatted about the goofy ads they saw in the chat space, during the next round.

    Today's iWON.com does this by requiring a gratiuitous banner ad click-through to 'collect' your tokens. Today's Uproar! site does interstitials between every round of that Family Feud style game. A few seconds of ads, and back to the game. It's accepted.

    This is just another example of a press release suggesting that they're "reinventing the web" whether it's true or not, just to get more attention. And slashdot bit the bait.

  • I totally agree with you, however...

    Devil's Advocate: On
    That takes time. That takes money. We aren't in the market to inform people, we are simply in the market to sell a product. All we want the customer to do is give us money, not learn a new skillset, or be happy, or improve the value of their home.

    We want their money - brainwash them with commercials.
    Devil's Advocate: Off

  • People often change channels during commercials. Giving people an incentive to change websites may not be the best idea :-).

    The Internet is not television, no matter how much advertisers are trying to make it that way.

  • Inklink [shockwave.com] does use commercials before the game while it is loading and also a commercial break halfway through about a 12 round game that advertises digital cameras from HP. It was a bit annoying at first, but Inklink is a great game and a bit addictive. It is basically online Pictionary.
  • True too of the online version of You Don't Know Jack. That's been around for years. They show a couple commercials in between each round, and then at the end of the game they have links to where you can go learn more about the products advertised. Works pretty well, actually. The ads are reasonably short and sometimes clever, and don't break up the flow of the game too much.

  • You know, I never went on the Web before, because I just really missed all the interruptions. I mean, TV has always been so satisfying, because it provides me with handy little commercial breaks. I can do the dishes, take a crap, even iron my laundry when I'm watching TV. But do you get that with the Web?

    Noooo..., you certainly don't. Well all those snobby Internet people with their "advertising sucks" attitudes can all just kiss my ass, because I'm HAPPY that the Web is becoming just like TV. Yesserree!

    AS IF banner ads were REAL advertising..

  • Also, you're on a computer, you have more choices.. Go read your email, chat with somebody on AIM or whatever. There's much more to do then just see what's on another channel.


    --

  • The online version of Jeopardy! does this, too. There's a commercial between the rounds. It doesn't get in the way much, it gives you time to refresh your drink, just like the ones on TV.
  • by Midnight Ryder ( 116189 ) <midryder.midnightryder@com> on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:42AM (#336834) Homepage

    When you put it this way, I can't help but think of BlipVerts from Max Headroom - time-compressed advertisements that were so intense (more than just a visual experience to) that sometimes the couch potatoes the ads were directed at exploded!

    Somehow, I don't think any of us are going to explode from them, but, the way that ads are getting these days, BlipVerts may become a reality ;-)

    (Jesus - I'm wondering if anyone on here even REMEMBERS the Max Headroom series! Strange but good show :-)

  • I agree with about 80% with what you say.

    But part of the idea behind commercials is to bring people who were either a) not aware of your product, or b) using a competing product into your space. So if I just Dodge trucks, odds are I would never go to Ford's web site voluntarily. So Ford has to grab my attention some other way.

    But you are right - if companies want to increase their web prescense, they need to have a good one. And as much as I dislike banner and pop-up ads, for a 5 second commercial, I could probably live with it, as long as it wasn't every other page. It would have to be between say, every 4 or 5 pages. Or each page would have to be sufficiently long enough to make it worth my while.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
    John "Dark Paladin" Hummel

  • Great. Whatever you can do to stay in business. Just realize that you'll lose some audience in doing so. However, if the alternative is going out of business, that's acceptable.

    I've seen harsh reactions to, for example, C|Net's (and, thereby, ZDNet's) new large block ads. These remind me of print ads in magazines. I don't mind them (as long as they don't take over my browser with pop ups, home page changes, and other evil methods).

    These new advertising methods are the price people will have to pay for "free" (new word:) Inter-tainment. The free ride is over. Fine.

  • by CBoy ( 129544 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:00AM (#336843) Homepage
    Who needs lifelines if you have a fast connection to Google ?

    How are they going to implement this ?
  • by Eloquence ( 144160 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:13AM (#336851)
    The difference between commercial and non-commercial or semi-commercial sites will finally begin to show. While the commercial web has been primarily paid for by stockholders in the early days, this time is over. As advertising becomes more annoying and more difficult to block, the advantgage of "free speech" over "free beer" will become clear. Collaborative sites like /. and K5 need less staff to provide more content than CNET & Co. The web can't be built with lots of money & advertising -- that's just digital TV. It can only be built by the people, and for the people.

    --

  • by TwP ( 149780 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @12:51PM (#336853) Homepage
    Most ISPs in the USA charge a flat monthly fee for access to the internet and the world wide web. What about other countries where internet access is charged on a per-minute, per-hour, or per-Mb rate? It seems like the interstitial advertising ploy is going to cost those users money each time an add comes up. True, that already happens with banner adds since they take time/bandwidth to download. But the interstitial idea seems to only aggravate these charges to the consumer - it's not just a gif anymore but a whole HTML document.

    Should advertisers be forced to reimburse users for overhead costs of their adds? This is a crazy idea, but from a capitalistic standpoint, why should these users be forced to pay for information they never even wanted in the first place?

    The logical solution, of course, is for users under a variable rate charge plan to avoid websites with lots of ads and/or interstitials. Or they could use programs such as WebWasher or JunkBuster.

    Thoughts, comments, flames, ephiphanys . . .
    -----------------

  • "
    Advertising, if one applies the proper transformations, is actually product information dispersal online.
    "




    A good example of this is ,

    Rane Audio : www.rane.com [rane.com]

    They have a reasonable list of technical data sheets on their site including a helpful "how to wire up odd cables for dodgy pieces of kit" sheet. As someone who runs a small venue we link to their website as a technical resource and we have printouts of their pages in the cupboard to aid people in wiring.

    We've now started buying their kit too because we know it's made by competent people.

  • Ok, what happens here is a table cannot display until it is completely loaded. This means in order to have a banner ad display first, the banner must not be in the same table as the rest of the page.

    Use your 'view >>> source' menus on some of these pages to see what I'm talking about. In fact, just view the source on Slashdot here, they do it too!
  • by proxima ( 165692 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:05AM (#336862)
    I don't know about the general viewer, but when I watch TV, I change the channel when the commercials come on. On the radio, I flip between 4 local stations looking for music. If I don't change the channel, I just ignore the radio/TV until the music/show is back on.

    Now if I'm playing this game (dumb game, too easy compared to quality trivia games), there's little chance I'd be spending those few seconds seriously looking at the ads, I'd be thinking about the questions, etc. Besides, 7 seconds is an easy amount of time to just simply ignore. I guess we'll have to wait for the statistics, but I can't imagine the click-through rate will be good at all (after all, who wants to interrupt a game they enjoy playing?).

  • by ErisDiscord ( 173307 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:06AM (#336867) Homepage
    Great...

    Now, instead of the relatively long (30-60sec) T.V. Commercials, we have 7 second commercials. The next generation is not going to be able to focus reliably on anything if we continue to shorten the collective attention span. Does anyone else think that perhaps shortening the length and increasing the intensity of advertisements is a bad thing?

    I personaly find myself repulsed by these "Interruption based" advertisements. I don't watch T.V., Ever, and I hate to thing my antipathy may soon extend ever further, as advertisement based media sends it's corrupted tendrils further into the internet.

    In the words of Bill Hicks, "They are Demons, set loose on the earth, to lower the standards."
  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:07AM (#336869)
    It'll work exactly like Bezerk Network, which has had this for years. You Don't Know Jack, Acrophobia, Get the Picture, etc. has small 15-second commercials in between "rounds". The commercials are done in Flash, and pressing a key on the keyboard brings up the advertiser's web site after the game -- a lot smarter idea than today's banner ads.
  • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:04AM (#336870)

    It's commonly accepted nowadays that the Net's traditional forms of advertising (banners, pop-ups and spam) have a very low success rate

    As it turns out, the click-thru rate on my television and radio is exactly zero, which when compared to web click-thru results seems pretty abysmal. Yet people still buy tv and radio ads.

    I thought the purposes of advertising was to raise the profile of your product; when I keep hearing "Drink Coke" all day, I'm more likely to think "Coke" when the question "What do you want to drink?" comes up.

    By this measure, I think that web advertising might be just as successful as traditional advertising. However, somebody set us up the meme that a web ad that doesn't result in click-thru is ineffective. I find this reasoning inconsistent. You're going to have to prove to me that they're less effective than traditional magazine and newspaper ads, but until then, I find the "low success rate" argument a falacy.

  • Try installing something from Intuit, Apple, or MSFT ... these things always show you a series of ads while running the installer. (Usually "Please! Register!! Please... register!!! )

    I sometimes wonder if there should be a generic slashdot user profile that could be used by mobs of people as a registration tool.

    Would sort of put the whammy on the whole purpose of the user profile in the firstplace.

    I can see it now: 50,000 copies of Windows XP registered in the name of John Katz

    ;-)

  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:07AM (#336872) Journal
    Imagine:

    "This File Download has been brought to you by Microsoft, ReInventing the Internet, Just for you!. Before your download begins, let us remind you to check out the latest Microsft product, Microsoft Spam ..."

    And Then:

    "Before we continue your download ..."

    This would be enough to make me change my mind on gun control.

    ;-)

  • Lots of people have already pointed out how they'll just switch browser windows, etc., but what's to think that Junkbuster and its friends won't catch up?

    First, I'll assume that this'll commonly be done with server-side processing to decide if you've waited the required amount of time. If it's done with JavaScript, Flash, or something else proprietary, we've already seen that that just won't fly.

    I can envision a proxy that does a bit of read-ahead for you. If you go to a site that uses such an obnoxious kind of advertising, the proxy will follow the next few links and throw away those that are advertisements. By the time you're done reading the page you're on, the next page with real content has already been loaded, free of commercials. Truly obnoxious web sites that try to defeat such a scheme will break all the ISPs, companies, etc., that rely on Squid or other caching proxies.

    Personally, I see many people getting increasingly turned off of advertising alltogether. People use VCRs and Tivo-like appliances to skip commercials. Everybody hates spam, telemarketing, billboards...you name it. I'm just waiting for the day when we all say, ``enough!''

    b&

  • This could be done in a method that doesn't waste people's time nor increase their download time to an unnecessary extent.

    If the upcoming ad were to be preloaded while the viewer is browsing the current page, as soon as a link as clicked on, the ad can be displayed instantly. While the ad is displaying, the next page's content is being preloaded. When the specified viewtime is reached AND the next page has completely loaded, the ad is turned off and the following page loaded.

    This would require sites to rethink their content delivery methods, but as most large sites pull everything from a database; preloading isn't awfully difficult. Infact it should be done anyway based on common site traversal trends; but that's another topic altogether :).

    The result is for modem users, a full size ad that lasts probably about the same time as it takes to load the next page. Instead of seeing a banner ad and the company's logo, and a page of whitespace while textual content is loaded; they see an ad. I wouldn't have a problem with that. Broadband users will wait for the set viewtime, as traditional TV/Radio advertising employs.

    Technically, I can't think of a better way to implement it. Whether it *should* be implemented at all is another issue.

    My take is we'll see consumer's expectations driving their stay-time on a site. If they are getting a lot out of the content, enjoying the site, finding it useful: one or two 7-second ads won't hurt. If the site is pretty average and there's a 7-second ad between every single page: they'll leave. Sites which don't employ this advertising technique will be applauded.

    Someone mentioned about alternative product awareness techniques: creating informational or portal sites whose primary purpose is NOT to sell the product; but throughout the site branding is utilised. This is very unobtrusive. Think of the cinemas: unless you actively look out for it, branding is quite subtle. Okay, there are some obvious exceptions (Pepsi being the biggest culprit, I think!).. but on the whole it's quite subliminal. I don't mind it at all (but still get a good laugh out of a nice, drawn-out close-up of the actor taking a long swig from their can of drink, holding in a manner which looks awfully uncomfortable but manages to deliver 100% logo frontage ;).

    Fact is, there are alternatives to intrusive advertising. These should be employed first; intrusive for when a specialised attack is required. And banner advertising still works! As has been said, impression counts for more than click-through. I've never phoned a company because I saw their website. But when I *need* to employ a service which that company covers; I consider them -- I'm aware of their presence and what they offer. Why should we expect web users to be any different?

    Infact, I see CPM advertising taking a rise in the near future with CTR dropping below it. People will realise at some stage impression counts more than click-through.

    Anyway, I'm rambling again..


    - Kaj Haffenden
    Web Developer, PDIS
  • through the floor.

    If I see an interstitial ad, I click on the Close Box. Probably not the best way to get people to participate in your game show.

  • Try installing something from Intuit, Apple, or MSFT ... these things always show you a series of ads while running the installer. (Usually "Please! Register!! Please... register!!! )
  • All of it. MSNBC is the worst. That's why I always provide "printable" links on stories I refer to (or submit for immediate rejection).
  • by vslashg ( 209560 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @05:13PM (#336890)
    Sure, this seems like a good thing now, when it's not widespread. But could you imagine a beo --

    Brought to you by VA Linux Systems [valinux.com], The World's Linux Leaders!
    -- wulf cluster of these?
  • Most [useful/popular] websites are more like books than TV. Which means you are going to start paying for content if you want it annoyance-free.

    Besides, when was the last time you opened a book and had to watch a stupid 5-second commercial before you could start reading it?
  • [i]However, [b]somebody set us up the meme[/b] that a web ad that doesn't result in click-thru is ineffective.[/i]

    Ohmygod! "All your base are belong to us"-style phraseology has entered the vernacular!

  • However, somebody set us up the meme that a web ad that doesn't result in click-thru is ineffective.

    Ohmygod! "All your base are belong to us"-style phraseology has entered the vernacular!


  • I watch (and record) Babylon 5 religiously. However, I don't watch it at 6:00 PM CDT when it comes on the Sci-Fi channel. Instead, I capture the signal using a firewire converter box (Sony) and host adapter to my Linux box using dvgrab. Once the episode is recorded I fire up MainActor, snip out the commercials and splice the various parts together (moving the intro sequence to the beginning for good measure), then convert the resulting product to divx and burn to CD.

    You know, there's this thing called TiVo and...

    It even runs Linux fer chrissakes!
  • If John Deere wants to advertise it's mowers and stuff, what they can do (and probably should!) is to host and design gardening, landscaping, and home-maintainance websites!

    Or, they could advertise on these websites which already exist in their market.

    Which is more work?
  • Have you ever noticed that the banner ad at the top of a page will load and then, 20 or 30 seconds later, the page content will load around it?

    This usually happens with less sophisticated web browsers that have to wait for the entire (table-enclosed) webpage to load before they can display anything. And the webmaster knows this, so he keeps the ad on the outside of the table so it loads right away...
  • You really don't get it, do you?

    Didn't know you were imparting something to "get."

    Nor do you know much about TiVo, do you?

    Yes, I know quite a bit about TiVo.

    You cannot build your own video library with TiVo

    Nor would I want to build a private video library, just like I no longer tape movies. If I want to watch it, I'll order it PPV, rent it, or buy it on DVD. Or catch it on one of the 30 movie channels I get.

    unless you first output the signal in analog format (read: you lose quality).

    Well, as long as you're talking about losing video quality, it's already being lost in most digital (non-HDTV) broadcasts, such as Time Warner digital cable, and the things TiVo (and any digital recorder) save to disk with MPEG compression.

    Your viewing habits are public knowledge, or at least purchasable for the right price, etc. etc.

    I'm not a privacy nut. As long as they don't give out my personal information (which they explicitly state they do not give out), I couldn't care less. Name one bad thing that might come out of TiVo sharing viewing habits that are not tied to me personally. I can't think of even one.

    If you want to be a serf

    Serf? Forced to do manual labor for little or no pay? Hmmm?

    forced to submit to the whims and limitations the Copyright Cartels choose to impose upon you, with your viewing habits recorded and made available to marketing enterprises with their own, not your, interests at heart, be my guest.

    I believe you've gone a little over the top on this one. TiVo makes it easy to control what I watch, and when. It lets me skip all those nasty commercials quite easily. Pause live TV, etc.

    If instead you wish to retain your rights to fair use

    Didn't realize I was giving those up?

    record and archive the programs and movies you wish

    I can do this with TiVo.

    under your own terms (and with better quality)

    Under my own terms? Such as "don't delete this item"? I can do that. Better quality? Big whoop. It'll be moot in a year or two anyway, as I have my digital VCR (TiVo or someone else) with HDTV support.

    may I suggest thinking outside of the box just a little

    The difference between me and you is I don't want to rebuild the wheel. TiVo and their friends have cool products that are much easier to use than anything I could build, or anything I've seen built by your average hacker.

  • by PHr0D ( 212586 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:05AM (#336902) Homepage
    Are there enough newbies out there to be convinced that the web is just a slow, more static version of television? What about the equivilent of channel surfing? Switching browser windows? These ads better be *Damn* fascinating to get lonely people to sit there and watch them.. Part of the attraction of TV is that you don't have to *do* anything, the web is more about making decisions, choosing a path, and I don't know a lot of people who *choose* to watch a lot of advertising unless it is 1)unique, 2)funny, 3)not been seen a thousand times before.

    --------------------------------------
  • Does it work?

    Well, I browse and surf the web for content. Not ads. I want to know more about, for example, gardening, how to make fountains, home repair, etc. Things that I do.

    So it's a symbiotic approach. Corporate interests want me to be successful in these endeavors because it means I buy more, do more, spend more. If the various companies provide the sites and the info, while remaining branded or acknowledged, I get the info I want, and they get the presence they want.

    So I don't see how this creates a problem. Coke, J&J, and John Deere hits their target audiences. The 'other' companies don't lose out; they just failed to advertise, but this metric of creating compelling sites with compelling content.

    The Banner Ads only work where sites draw in viewers for people to see the Banner Ads. You can't advertise on non-existent sites, right?

    The analogy to this is how tv ads sponsor and subsidize the tv shows that encapsulate and surround the ads. By making popular and successful tv shows, tv broadcasting can sell ads at high prices. By buying ads to link with popular tv shows, companies can create positive mindshare.

    As per your thought that generic portals will win... it's all a matter of semantics between "portals" and generic portals. There is nothing that stops a Coke-web site from being a generic portal.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • You can change it now, with the advent of OS X!

    You now have both a GUI and a command prompt =)

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <gundbear&pacbell,net> on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:07AM (#336906) Homepage
    Has no one realized yet how the web works?

    Advertising, if one applies the proper transformations, is actually product information dispersal online.

    If John Deere wants to advertise it's mowers and stuff, what they can do (and probably should!) is to host and design gardening, landscaping, and home-maintainance websites!

    *Grow* the market, and makes sure your name is attached to it! So create http://www.jdweb.com/Garden or http://www.jdweb.com/DIY, etc.

    I think this can be expanded to *any* product. If you're Johnson and Johnson, create the home healthcare, health, and self improvement pages. Don't bother too heavily with product placement, I don't think, but when people start associating 'health' and 'wellness' with J&J, they've done good advertsing.

    Let's try more esoteric examples: Coke, which sells a drink.

    Actually, they sell a lifestyle, in which the drink is part of the image and the taste. Create something hip and free for people to visit; web boards, movie reviews, hiking, bike, and rollerblade info sites, etc. Sites where people can go do things, and while they are at it, drink Coke.

    Safeway Foodstores could host cooking sites, with recipes. Activity sites, like Coke. BBQ sites, with hints, anecdotes, stories, and recipes. Whatever!

    It's similar to how a portal works, but much more targeted.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • Interstitials are supposed to load after everything else in the page is loaded, and if user changes to another page in the site, it is supposed to continue loading from where it was left in the previous page. So the interstitial should view only after it is completely loaded, and the loading should happen completely in background.

    I'm in charge of a comparatively big web site, which is completely financed by selling ad space. I'm not personally neither too fond of popups and stuff, but as advertisers are just not interested in banners, we have to accept more aggressive ads simply to survive - if even that is enough.

  • You know, I always thought that when you have a slow loading web site (not like /. ) you would wnat to replace the stupid ...Please Wait... (i say stupid because they are already waiting) with ...sponsored by SomeBigCORP... in a span tag that disappears when the page displays. Hell, the user is staring at the screen, waiting, and there's nothing but white (or off gray) space on the screen, and the sponsor's name...

    And then, when the page does display, no ads :)

  • "As it turns out, the click-thru rate on my television and radio is exactly zero, which when compared to web click-thru results seems pretty abysmal. Yet people still buy tv and radio ads."

    I have a different take on the so-called "failure" of banner advertising... I don't think it IS a failure, at least, no more so than any other ads.

    Internet advertising is so far the ONLY advertising there is where there is complete 100% accountability back to the advertiser. TV and radio advertisers only have an idea of how many "potentially" can see/hear their ad (based on ratings) but never exact numbers.

    Something tells me that if there was such accountability, advertisers might realize that their radio and TV advertising is also a "failure".

    Advertising can only do so much. Most ads I see are pretty lame, they either advertise something I don't want, or fail to excite me. Same thing with most TV and radio ads. Quality advertising is entertaining. By entertaining the viewer/listener/etc you stand a much better chance of making a positive impression.

    Web advertising that try to yank control of my web browser instanty fall into the category of businesses I'd NEVER do business with under any circumstances.

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:09AM (#336941) Journal
    Have you ever noticed that the banner ad at the top of a page will load and then, 20 or 30 seconds later, the page content will load around it?

    How much of that do you suppose is deliberate?

    --Blair
  • Banner ads *could* work.

    If I knew that when I clicked on a banner ad that it would lead me to a decently-designed web page that would:
    a) Give me information about the product
    b)Give me information to contact the company about/purchase the item
    c) Not waste my time

    Then I would be a banner ad clicking fool. The s/n on banner ads is too high. I click the banner ads here on slashdot because they tend to be of higher quality (ThinkGeek tops the list, in my mind)

    If there were an industry created regulating body (eAdsSeal?) that put a stamp of approval on ads (in the right hand corner or something, think BetterBusinessBeaurau (I can never spell that word)) I would be more likely to click them, if that seal meant that the ad would satisfy my criteria stated above.


    Brant
  • I think you may be onto something here. What about having an adCritic type site for banner ads? That way, people could show two things to the advertising people: 1) They do look at these ads, at least occasionally, and 2) Some of the ads piss people off. If the comments about some of the more lousy ads are seen, maybe the ads will get better.
  • When you choose a web page link while using WebTV, you are sometimes presented with a banner-like ad while the new page is fetched. If you choose the ad, you're redirected to the ad's page, if not you continue to the new page as you originally intended.

    I think this is a rather nice and unintrusive way to advertise, since I wouldn't otherwise be doing anything else while waiting for a page to load. Of course, this is taking advantage of a latency that I'd prefer to avoid in the first place...
  • Yes, they don't realize people don't want advertising. At the beginning of advertising, people complained, but the ads were not intrusive so it was ok. People just ignored them, and the click rate was very low.
    Then the ads got bigger and went right in the middle of article. People complained again, and there wasn't much more clicking.
    Now, they are going to force us into seeing the ads. I guess the result will be: more complains, no more clicking, and fewer hits.
    Well will they understand?
    ----
  • I have seen several sights trying to just what 2nd Post! suggests. Most notably is the Jack Daniels web site which I am currently unable to access because I'm behind my company's stupid proxy server, I think http://www.jackdaniels.com. Cool contests, promotions, recipes, etc. Very effective in raising brand awareness.
  • by journalistguy ( 398433 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @11:00AM (#336952)
    ...'Who Wants to Be A Millionaire' deserve to watch commercials. Lots of commercials.

A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well as afterward.

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