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The Almighty Buck

IAB Recommends Larger Web Advertising 415

Chicane-UK writes "Popups, flash adverts, full screen adverts and all the other methods of internet advertising that make our daily drag through the internet have been deemed not effective enough. The solution, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau is the new Universal Ad Package which comprises a new 'large advert' and three other in page advert templates. Read their press release here. I know I for one am sick of internet advertising of this type - banners were just about right for me." For some reason advertisers never come up with new, smaller advertising formats. There's also a story on AdAge.
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IAB Recommends Larger Web Advertising

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  • They fill up 90% of the screen sometimes as it is and they spawn several popups at a time.

    As far as I am concerned, Internet adverts are just like magazine adverts. I don't notice those ones either (unlike TV adverts).

    Has anyone done a study to compare the various advertising models and their effectiveness?

    Ok, now I'll go read the article ;)
    • My friend, sounds like you need to play the Realistic Internet Simulator [b3ta.com]. Get that popup closing hand some practice!

      Seriously though, the last thing any of us need to see is more of this junk. the worst is when you're on an IE machine and along come the unclosable popups... yeuch!

      • Seriously though, the last thing any of us need to see is more of this junk. the worst is when you're on an IE machine and along come the unclosable popups... yeuch!

        It's funny, but i've never once encountered an uncloseable popup without a 'Close this window' button... dunno if I'm just lucky or what.
    • Radio (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:34AM (#4870048) Homepage
      Has anyone done a study to compare the various advertising models and their effectiveness?

      In the UK they have, and believe the most cost-effective was said to be radio advertising.

      Think about it - you're driving along or doing some other task, and the radio's on in the background. You're unlikely to switch station just because an advert came on, since the radio is not your primary focus at that moment. On the TV or the net however, you're concentrating on the screen and so you're more likely to be annoyed by distractions to that focus.

      Cheers,
      Ian

      • Hate to totally disagree, but I'm from the UK, radio advertising just pisses me off, it's always for the same 2 or 3 companies, sometimes I DO even switch stations/switch radio off when the ads come on, and I've never once bought anything because of a radio ad. :-)
      • I'm surprised. I've got a bunch of presets on my radio: an ad comes on and it's not more than a second before I'm punching buttons. I'll even bail out during NPR sponsorship announcements, and they're a 100x less irritating than most ads. (Hey, I send NPR money anyway.)

        I'd think TV ads would have been more effective. I can come in the middle of a song and it's no big deal: switching in the middle of a program is a lot harder. I typically mute the ad and pick up a book, but I can often still see the ad.

    • Re:Larger? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by e8johan ( 605347 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:35AM (#4870060) Homepage Journal

      "As far as I am concerned, Internet adverts are just like magazine adverts. I don't notice those ones either (unlike TV adverts)."

      You notice the lost time, especially when you're connected through a slow modem and pay by the minute... It is a huge bandwidth wasteage!

      I'd actually pay more for a guarantee against banners and spam from my ISP.

    • Yeah, but these new "larger" ads are of standardized sizes which I doubt the full screen porn ads are.

      After reading the article, you'll also see that they're not really that much larger as in area covered, but thinner while being longer or taller to fit top of pages better.

      It's not like they're planning to give us 1000x500 ads. Yet.
    • Internet adverts are just like magazine adverts. I don't notice those ones either (unlike TV adverts).


      Hmm. Magazine ads are about the only ads I *do* intentionally pay attention to. Of course, I don't read many magazines, but the ones I do read are ususally small, highly-targeting, niche-markets, and the ads in these magazines are similarly focused. So naturally, the products in the ads would have a high probablity of being interesting to me. So I check them out.
    • Re:Larger? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spike hay ( 534165 )
      I use Phoenix now. I only loop images once, and of course block popup ads. What these idiotic marketdroids don't understand is that I won't click on an ad just because it is big and animated. In fact, it will probably just piss me off and make me never go to that site again. People will only click on targeted advertising for things they like. (ie, thinkgeek ads on Slashdot or the user submitted text-based ads on Kuro5hin)

      If they keep this up, I might have to completely install some ad blocking software.
    • Re:Larger? (Dumb) (Score:3, Interesting)

      by anonicon ( 215837 )
      Hey. For what it's worth, I don't carry ads or any other "gimme, gimme, gimme!" devices on my site [fatchucks.com] since I figure it will just piss off site visitors and hurt me in the long run. Besides, 1000s of sites have advertising, would it be so bad if one didn't?

      I do make some nice money from providing banned books info with affiliate-paid linked Amazon reviews, and from pointing out really good independent artists at CDBaby that I also make an affiliate free from if you purchase something. That said, if you want your web site to make money from something besides affiliate fees and ad fees, you need to provide enough value to your clients or the public to be worth charging for. Otherwise forget it, IMO.

      Chuck
  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kickasso ( 210195 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:23AM (#4869967)
    Sure they did come up with smaller ad formats. Ever heard about google?
    • Good is not "they" (evil moneygrabbing corporations) - google are "us" - cool geeky company with the best tech. Hands up who'd like to work for them? I know I would!
    • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Google's ads are nice, but I kind of wish they'd find some way to advertise based on context of the search rather than just one keyword. It's not uncommon for one of my google searches to turn up what I'm looking for in the first hit (Yesterday's big success was finding out that the letter "W" can, indeed, be used as a vowel.) However the keyword based advertising is much less accurate. So if I were to search on "goat feed" or something I might get a bunch of farm suppliers in my search, but "Lola's Palace of Live Goat Porn" in the advertisers section. I know that advertising is all about delivering eyeballs, but a more appropriate advertiser based on the context of my search would be much more likely to get my click-through.
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:24AM (#4869979) Journal
    There was a large box below the story.

    A question for those of you who have not blocked advertising - Without looking - what was it for?

    People learn to ignore these thing pretty quickly. Making them bigger isn't going to help. They need to find new ways to advertise. How do they do this? Here's an idea - Give some reason for the customers to click. Offer prizes. Pay for a promotional story. I'm sure people would have no objection to Slashdot having clearly labelled advertising articles written by the advertisers.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      There was a large box below the story.


      A question for those of you who have not blocked advertising - Without looking - what was it for?


      It -- and all the other ads on the page -- were for the small red "X" company....

      Thank god for proximon!....

      • It -- and all the other ads on the page -- were for the small red "X" company....

        Out of interest, have you found yourself buying more products from Xerox recently?

      • I am a true AdShield (www.adshield.org) evangelist. I have it installed on every one of my machines, and encourage friends, family and students to install it on theirs.

        I will support websites by not blocking their non-animated banner ads. Everything that's animated, (especially flash), or have non-banner format graphics get blocked immediately.

        Sites that try to pop something up have all of their advertising removed, regardless of the format of their ads.

    • Give some reason for the customers to click. Offer prizes.

      "If this banner is flashing, you may already be a winner!"

      Well, did you win? People see right through that type of internet advertising as well, after punch the monkey and the annoying flashing banner has ZERO payoff.
      • That's true. They need something a little more honest. Rather than a big flashy abstract you have won, tell them what you're advertising.

        For example, if I said by clicking here, you can enter a competition to win a video game (Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin) [gamezone.com] , you may feel like clicking on it. If you are interested, then the advertising was succesful. It told you about the existence of the game.

        That was proably a lot more succesful than the flashy banner ads, less irritating because it doesn't flash, and it was totally honest about the benefits of clicking there. This may encourage people to click on it. It also has the benefit to advertiser that it is targetted at people who want to play video games, and it cannot be blocked by ad blocking software.

        Incidentally, that competition was just a Google search for "Win a PC". I have no affiliation with the company.
    • Offer prizes.


      Banana bucks aren't a prize? :P
    • It was an IBM ad though for what exactly I don't know. The irony that the ad was so large that it pushed the comments "below the fold" made me notice more than I would otherwise.

      To be "fair" the new super-large, super-annoying, in-line ads are so big and right in the middle of the content you are trying to look at you can't help noticing them. A better test would be to compare how many remember what the obnoxious ad in the middle of the page was for to how many remember what the banner at the top was for. I would bet that the obnoxious ad is slightly more effective.

      However I do agree with you that the most effective would be *content* that is really advertising - the online equivalent of product placement. Arguably /. is already doing this gratis for some companies (there is an entire section devoted to Apple) and every link in a book review is an Amazon.com [amazon.com] affiliate link - probably those are their most effective advertising links.
    • There was a large box below the story.

      In your userContent.css in Moz/Opera:

      table table table[width="346"][height="280"] {
      display: none !important;
      }

      Hint to advertisers: I don't bother blocking small adverts, and I might actually *read* textads.
      • I thought text ads would be stupid till they were implemented at Kuro5hin.org. For some reason, I have to scan the text of a page when I first get to it. The only time I focus on a pic is if it relates to the article. But I always see, and usually remember, for a while, the textads on k5.

        Although, that could be because the ads are put up, mostly, by people who make build that community.
    • I'm sure you're dead wrong. If slashdot started having "clearly labelled" advertising articles (or slashvertisements as an April Fools post once called them), the page I read that policy change on would be the last page from here that any browser I control downloads from slashdot.

      Yeah, slashdot has a heavy editorial bias towards certain products, but that's nerd-land people. In case you hadn't realized it yet, nerds tend to fixate on things and want to tell everyone how it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, even if the other people really might not be all that interested. That I don't have a problem with. Infomercials, cross my line, and my line is the only one that matters in this particular case, since I'm the one choosing what to browse..
    • How soon before your computer just points a gun at you and takes money out of your wallet?

    • Offer prizes.

      You're joking, right?

      The state-run lottery ALWAYS pays off its winners, and thanks to the fairly transparent nature of its government management, I know that people actually win. I won't play that.

      An ad banner telling me I can win if I click is assumed at its most honest to have the odds of a $100M lottery and the payout of the trinket crane at the arcade. At worst, nobody wins anything and the "contest" is just an excuse to harvest marketing info for spammers and to generate leads for fraudulent telemarketing.

      TANSTAAFL [everything2.com]. I know it and so does everybody else. Offering contests is a great way to cheapen a brand, not enhance it.
    • Whether or not you can remember what the ad was about is not a good test for whether it worked. Advertising is designed to affect your behaviour. The advertiser could give a rat's ass about your conscious memory. Actually, they'd prefer you not remember why you made a particular decision down the road. Let's say I'm selling a commodity product in retail stores. My product is out there, and I know when you go the store you're going to see it. I don't want you to think "Choosy Mothers Choose Jif" when you go to the store. I don't want your wife to tell you to get "Jif" when she sends you there. What I want is for her to tell you "We're out of peanut butter". Then when you get to the store, I want you to perceive "Jif" as the best brand. You don't know why and you don't care. You just buy that one and feel good that you've gotten the best product for your lovely wife and kids. What I want to do as an advertiser is to creat emotional "keys" between my product and good feelings. I don't want to present cognitive arguments; those take way too much work for you (my customer) to deal with. And people really do not operate that way on a daily basis. Think of the thousands of decisions you make each day. Do you really analyze every one of then in a conscious cognitive manner? If you examine a decision you made an hour ago, you could "justify" (come up with a rational explanation after the fact of why you did what you did). But that's not how you made that decision. As an advertiser, I'd much prefer you--a person who believes he makes informed, intelligent, deliberate decisions for himself--to have an emotional association between my product and something good. And have no conscious awareness of how that association got there. Then when your wife asks you why you bought "Jif", you'll say "Because I love you". (If you're smart, that is ;). And thus progogateth the meme.
    • Good point.

      I've also seen usability studies that asked people to locate a goal: a certain page or Flash app. Whenever it was behind a button that looked like an ad, a majority of people never found the goal, even when it was right at the top or side of the screen. That means many people have subconsciously learned to tune out small blinking colorful squares in a field of black and white text.

      I know I couldn't even tell you if that page had an ad or not, I just focused on the text.

      Perhaps it had a subconscious effect, who knows.
  • Hipocrits.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MxTxL ( 307166 ) <mlutter@gma i l .com> on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:24AM (#4869982)
    You notice that the IAB site doesn't have so much as one ad on it.... not a single 'punch the monkey', not one 'natural viagra' and not even a faux windows error.

    If they expect everyone to use their super obtrusive template, you would think that they would at lease bother to ugly up their own pages with that crap. How do they expect people to take them seriously?
    • by Mr Guy ( 547690 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:01AM (#4870261) Journal
      Interesting you posted that sig in a thread about advertising right before Christmas.

      I read it, thought to myself, damn, I DO want to fly a kite, I LIKE flying kites, and I haven't FLOWN a kite since I was dating my wife in college. If I had seen that sig two weeks ago, she'd be getting THIS [kitestop.com] for Christmas.

      I don't think I've ever reacted that way to a banner ad.
    • You have an implicit point I think -- wouldn't it be nice if the size of the ad ran in inverse proportion to its obnoxiousness? I know large ads are automatically obnoxious, but the "punch the monkey" and sexual performance ads have nauseating impact far greater than their physical size.

      The IAB site ironically doesn't need ads. It probably draws funding exclusively from its membership, so essentially they subscribe to its content.

      The ad people should know that the more rigid their template the easier they'll be to block.

      And I feel sorry for the otherwise decent sites who feel compelled to adopt these increasingly irritating novels. Pop-up ads are one of the worst. Beyond a certain point the site is not worth visiting unless you are bristling with anti-ad weaponry, what a waste.
  • It is *not* the Internet Architecture Board [iab.org], it is the Internet Advertising Bureau [iab.net]. Could you imagine it being different?

    Yeah, yeah, it's redundant. But that's what came to my mind when I read IAB on the title.
  • by httpamphibio.us ( 579491 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:26AM (#4869996)
    I suggest that all computers on the internet be required to have a miniature billboard monitor (2 or 3 feet wide will do) above the normal monitor that rotates various advertisements.

    Or, require 24 hour full screen ads that are transparent so as not to completely interfere with normal usage.

    Genius!
    • They tried this sorta, remember the whole free computer thing a while ago. Some company was like giving away computers or selling them super cheap, but there was always ads on the screen. I think people realized they could just reformat and the company went belly up.
  • by joshua404 ( 590829 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:27AM (#4869999)
    Marketing is where the people who are full of buzzwords, mission statements, slogans and an overinflated sense of self-importance always wind up collecting. They perpetuate these ridiculous ad schemes not because they work, but because it keeps them in a job. Do -you- know anybody that's based a major purchase off of a popup ad on the Internet? Everyone I know immediately -loses- interest in a given product when assaulted by popup ads for it. Those little wireless camera thingies, for example. In theory, they seem pretty cool and they have a lot of practical uses (other than the implied use of spying on JC Penny catalog models per their ads). But I will smolder in Hell before I ever buy one because of their obnoxious advertising.. So who -is- buying them?
    • by jmichaelg ( 148257 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:44AM (#4870126) Journal
      Yeah they pissed you and me off so we won't buy the product but that just says the ad didn't work on you or me. It doesn't say the ads don't work.

      Don't believe the ad worked? Before those ads came out, the sponsor was but a dim memory. Notice that you and I both know what camera ad you're talking about. That is exactly what a marketing department's job is - to get the company noticed.

      Just because neither you nor I would care to be marketeers doesn't mean you need to diss them - they do serve a real function.

      • Did you write them so they know that you're not buying their product and why? If a company has enough people telling them that their internet marketing firm is causing them to lose sales, they'll find a different marketing firm. Perhaps a less obnoxious and obtrusive one that might just go buy a google ad and then focus on making the company web page informative and useful.
    • But I will smolder in Hell before I ever buy one because of their obnoxious advertising.. So who -is- buying them?

      Thousands of horny teenagers. So if you are unethical and want to sell this product who do you want to sell it to, a few dozen geeks with a practical use or a signicantly larger percentage of the population - horny males (including the geeks).

      Besides the "dumb" marketing guys probably have a second brand-name for the product that is focused on the non-voyeur, legitimate side of the market. A brand marketted to legitimate security applications or geeks tinkering with the thing. There is no reason why they cannot have their cake, and eat it to.
  • by InterruptDescriptorT ( 531083 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:28AM (#4870007) Homepage
    Yet, however, companies continue to pour money into losing ventures against the almighty click-through because of the Internet's explosive growth and this mistaken belief that people will click them.

    News flash: this isn't the case. Whereas ads on television have a 50-year history to draw from, and whereas ads on TV are expected, most Internet surfers would say they're an annoyance and a hindrance to them. Contrast ads on TV--slick, designed to pique the viewer's interest, versus a huge window flashing saying, 'THERE MAY BE PORN ON YOUR COMPUTER! YOU ARE BROADCASTING AN IP ADDRESS, SO YOU'RE VULNERABLE.'

    Instead of focusing on more obtrusive, bigger pieces of real estate, perhaps Internet advertisements would work if they leveraged the unique nature of the medium to get their point across. Flash and/or Java ads that are visually interesting and interactive have a better chance of setting clicks than big, flashing banners.

    I don't know if I'd expect the ad community to get the message, though. They want us to see theirs, but won't listen to their audience to see what works.
    • by dboyles ( 65512 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:47AM (#4870150) Homepage
      Instead of focusing on more obtrusive, bigger pieces of real estate, perhaps Internet advertisements would work if they leveraged the unique nature of the medium to get their point across. Flash and/or Java ads that are visually interesting and interactive have a better chance of setting clicks than big, flashing banners.

      I don't understand; you go from "Internet advertising doesn't work, period." to suggest a different kind of internet advertising, which would presumably work.

      I think your topic is just misleading. Internet advertising is effective, but only if you follow basic advertising principles.

      Porsche doesn't advertise during Saturday morning cartoons. Tampax doesn't advertise during the NCAA Final Four. Why should the internet be any different? It's not about view counts, it's about targeting advertising to a specific audience. That's why our personal data is so valuable that a company would give away software just to collect it.
    • Speaking as a software developer that works for a company that does try to leverage the unique nature of the medium to make better adverts, trust me when I say that it doesn't always come down to who makes the better adverts.

      We have developed software that can make adverts which are better targeted to the page contents, adverts which can pick up live data from feeds and which allows changes to be made to the adverts live - even once they are up on sites. And yes the clickthrough rates and purchase rates are higher.

      However, we are competing with creative agencies that are often trying to cut us out in favour of pop-ups and annoying dhtml flying-pig style adverts. These adverts can also get high clickthrough rates, I suspect due to the fact that people accidentally click on them in an attempt to make them go away.

      Basically it's difficult to reach the clients through their current 'protective' creative agencies. I guess we all know that it's not necessarily the best tech kit that wins, but I do hope we don't get dragged down to the level of some of the creative agencies, 'cos if I see one more flying pig on my web mail I will kill someone :)

      Matthew (matthew@connextra.com)
      http://www.connextra.com
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:28AM (#4870009) Homepage

    Internet advertising has gone down like a WindowsXP sales drive at a Linux convention. So they are comming up with ways to get more money, and the way is "bigger ads", next week it will be "associated ads", the week after it will be "bingly boingy ads", then "musical", then "for the blind" and so on and so on.

    At the end of the day its them trying to justify their existence and getting people to hand over money.

    I've never clicked on a Slashdot banner or advert. However I did click on the one running on the register as its annoying as hell and it managed to get me interested. But that was a concerted campaign via one site for weeks, a much better idea IMO than banners or popups IMO. Running a proper campaign, even if it is intrusive, is liable to be much more effective than the mini-billboards that are the norm in the internet.

  • Dump the 468x60 pixel banners. Instead have the following 4 sizes

    1. The 728 x 90 pixel "leader board," which runs across the top of a page like a giant banner;

    2. The 160 x 600 pixel skyscraper that runs vertically on the side of a page;

    3,4. The 300 x 250 pixel and 180 x 150 pixel rectangular formats.
    • You can preview [iab.net] the new sizes on their site.
    • I encountered a conundrum the other day. One of my clients (I'm a web designer) told me that an image on one page of his site wasn't being displayed.

      After much head-scratching I discovered that the reason for this was that Norton Internet Security 2003 (recently installed on my client's computer) was blocking the image because it had decided that since the dimensions of the image were 250x250 pixels it was therefore an advert. Which it wasn't.

      So now there's a whole bunch more image sizes to remember to avoid when creating legitimate content so that this won't be blocked if ad-blocking is installed.

      Wonderful.
  • I suspect this is just another ploy for the IAB to sell more of the WWW ad blocking software that it has secret partnerships with.
  • Somehow this article seems to only pertain to users of software produced by a certain monopoly. I use the mighty Mozilla and frankly it has been a damn long time since I have even seen a pop up ad.
    • "Somehow this article seems to only pertain to users of software produced by a certain monopoly. I use the mighty Mozilla and frankly it has been a damn long time since I have even seen a pop up ad."

      Same here. I have forgotten what it feels like to see a pop-up on my machine. Rare is the day I see a banner ad as well, due to mighty hosts blocking and even if I haven't blocked a host, bannerblind [mozdev.org]* usually zaps it anyway. I don't even have to resort to a windows-dependent solution like the Proxomitron anymore!

      *That note on the bannerblind site about an error where bannerblind fails to register properly is not a big deal. Look at bug 1745 listed and a work-around us there.

  • For some reason advertisers never come up with new, smaller advertising formats.

    Yet ironically in some contexts it is the smaller ads that are more effective. Google does far better with those tiny text-only ads at the top and right side of their search results than the other search engines did with the traditional banners at the top of the page.

    Just to test my theory I wonder how this text link to The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship... [amazon.com] buried in the text does compared to the banner at the top ;)
  • Modems (Score:4, Insightful)

    by e8johan ( 605347 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:32AM (#4870032) Homepage Journal

    "As far as I am concerned, Internet adverts are just like magazine adverts. I don't notice those ones either (unlike TV adverts)."

    You notice the lost time, especially when you're connected through a slow modem and pay by the minute... It is a huge bandwidth wasteage!

    • "You notice the lost time, especially when you're connected through a slow modem and pay by the minute... It is a huge bandwidth wasteage!"

      Then get yourself a glorious hosts blocking list [smartin-designs.com] and say goodbye to 90% of advertising content and a big speed-up! I am on 28.8 dialup (nothing better is available here, not even 56K) and this is a life-saver.

  • I don't care about the size of adverts. What I care about is where they are and what they show.
    If the
    text
    has
    to be
    so
    small to escape an advert it becomes unreadable. That I hate. If I have to scroll to read the text like with /. ads, I don't care.
    The second thing I hate is adverts that are constantly flashing. My eyes are constantly attracted by the ad and I can't read the text of the web page. So, in my phoenix browser I have the ZAP EMBEDS bookmark to kill flash and I have the animated image setup to loop only once.
  • The premium content is classified into categories: at the bottom the standard 15" monitor crowds get just one or two whole articles a week plus a constant pitch to upgrade the available real-state for adds. Only the people with monitors above 24" get the whole content.

    Low-life visitors with 14" monitors get whole-page adds for the right of seeing the "free" content plus the premium headlines in their cheap monitors. And large pop-ups at every page views reminding them that 14" monitor support will be discontinued soon.
  • Designed to be acceptable to advertisers and agencies, the package was created in response to advertiser demand for simpler, more cost effective units and a stronger creative palette.



    Glad that they thought of the consumer when they invented these new sizes.

    • Glad that they thought of the consumer when they invented these new sizes.

      What you aren't understanding is that they DID think of the consumer. You are NOT the consumer of a publication, you are the PRODUCT. The publication is selling your "eyes", or click-throughs to their customers, their consumers, the advertiser. They have to strike a balance between having enough content nicely displayed to harvest the raw product (you) with the need to sell the product as "click through's". If they oversell the product (to much advertising per page) we leave in irritation but it does them no good to harvest the product and then not sell it. Also the more efficiently they can convert the raw product into it's refined salable form (click-through's) the better they do.

      These new ads are yet another attempt to find the right balance, your individual feelings are immaterial to both the advertiser and the publication, they only care about the aggregate result. If the new ads are irritating enough that the amount of raw product harvested decreases (people stay away) but are more effective at converting the remaining product into it's salable form (more of the remaining readers actually click the ads) it may still be a win for both the publication and for the advertiser.
  • Too much (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dachshund ( 300733 )
    Full page advertising and those Flash ads that inject themselves on top of what you're reading are about a hundred times more intrusive than anything even an ad-loaded glossy magazine is ever going to give you. One thing dead-tree publications never demand is that you stop what you're doing and watch some silly, slow Flash animation.

    Advertisers should stick with injecting the ads into the article text, even if they're large blocks that you have to scroll through until you get to the rest of it. Being forced through full page ads or Flash crap just makes me want to avoid a site.

  • by billtom ( 126004 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:34AM (#4870053)

    I, for one, am glad that the IAB publishes these standard ad sizes. It lets me know what images my filters should throw away.

  • by Mr.Spaz ( 468833 )
    I don't know about you guys, but I know that once a site's ads surpass a certain level of annoyance (basically beyond a graphic either at the top, sides, or bottom), I start finding alternative places to visit. It's just not worth my time to "endure" 5 minutes of sparkly flash tidbits and other nit-wittery when visiting a page. If I can find what I need elsewhere, then I go there instead. I know I can't be alone on this. Has no one done a study to determine an average user's "ad tolerance?" I mean, if people avoid your page because of all the ads, then making more and bigger ads won't really do much for your "click-throughs," will it?
    • "I don't know about you guys, but I know that once a site's ads surpass a certain level of annoyance (basically beyond a graphic either at the top, sides, or bottom), I start finding alternative places to visit. It's just not worth my time to "endure" 5 minutes of sparkly flash tidbits and other nit-wittery when visiting a page."

      Uninstall flash.

      I just keep a separate flash enabled browser (Opera) for those rare moments when I really do need flash. Otherwise, mozilla armed with numerous ad and popup blocking tools/settings spares me from almost all banners and pop-ups.

  • by jehreg ( 120485 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:39AM (#4870091) Homepage
    Well, I recommend bigger fonts, larger web pages, and waaaaaaay higher resolution.... to compensate.
    • Unfortunately, most web pages hard-wire the width of the content column, normally to about 400 pixels. Increasing your monitor resolution and font size won't give you a page of text like this with a small ad.

      It
      will
      give
      you
      a page
      like
      this.

      I know - I am running 2624x1200 right now (Xinerama ROCKS) and my browser window is 1496x1143. I have to go into my user_content.css file and override the settings for most sites in order to get a reasonable usage of my screen.

      Unfortunately, since CSS doesn't let you specify a range of sizes (you cannot say "all TABLES that are between 400 and 600 pixels wide"), I have to identify each site of interest, examine the code to determine the size they are using, add it to my user_content.css file, and restart Mozilla.
  • I really love this quote from the article: "Both the 300X250 and 180X150 ad units feature similar proportions to TV, enabling easier creative development." I guess someone has been smelling the convergence fumes too long.

    As someone else pointed out, a lot of people won't be patient enough to want and wait for this sort of download times; so now take that and expand it to the point of downloading reduced, but complete, television commercials.... Oh yeah, we finally got the vast majority of people to realize that we don't want their page sounds on our machines. I really hated sites which shoved a music loop down on me. So now I'll have to deal with the sound interruptions caused by transferring TV commercials to web pages?

    <sarcasm>I can't wait until some greedy bugger puts two or more of these on one page to maximize profit....</sarcasm>

  • The 728x90, a newly created IAB ad size, provides an expansive horizontal lens through which consumers can view products and brands online.

    Wow, these advertising people sure know how to sell a product, this almost makes it sound as if it was a good thing.
  • If they make it any louder and more obnoxious they're going to turn people away. I for one consciously avoid sites where I know 2 or 3 popups are thrown at you as soon as you enter (or LEAVE ffs!).

    If you are a Windows user then you probably have Flash installed and also a sound card. Advertisers think they not only have the right to float annoying animations over the text you are reading, but also to play annoying sound effects through your speakers.

    Why don't advertisers realise this: First of all, make your adverts RELEVANT and INTERESTING. Piss me off and I will avoid whatever goods or services you are trying to sell me (I take the same approach with spammers).

    Second, "normal" advertising (ie non-internet based) relies on the principle of the subliminal promotion of a brand name. When I drive to work I see adverts for Jaguar. When I watch TV I discover that Herbal Extracts skin cream is a more natural way to cleanse and moisturise [my] skin. When I open a magazine I discover that the local computer shop has a half price sale on, and I can pick up a printer and get a free lawnmower.

    This is relevant, interesting and non-obtrusive advertising. Next time I'm at the supermarket I *may* buy Heinz beans over the store's-own brand because the advert put into my head the idea that Heinz beans are delicious and more nutritional (the validity of this is not relevant - advertising exists to sell products, not to be truthfull)

  • by BlueStreak ( 140891 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:43AM (#4870123)
    If you have Mozilla, I highly recommend you install [mozdev.org] Bannerblind [mozdev.org]. I've been using it for many months and it does a great job of removing adverts!

    The way it works is that, when you finish downloading a web page, it goes through the downloaded page and removes images of a specific height & width (for both GIF and Flash ads). It works well since all ads are of a specific size.

    In my experience, it rarely remove a non-advert and if it's a nuisance for a specific page, you can easily turn it off.

    The actual removal of the image can either force your page to reformat or to leave it as it is, with the image space blank (I prefer the former).

    Also, you can add/remove image sizes so it's easy to keep up with new formats.
  • Brick + Mortar (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:44AM (#4870128) Homepage Journal
    When I go into a brick and mortar store, there are advertisements. They are advertising the prices of the goods on sale. Their are also ads trying to convince you of which product on sale is better. And there are ads trying to get you to buy things that you didn't come into the store to buy.

    How come in an online store there are ads for, other stores? Do they really make more money off advertising than they would if I actually bought something? I think that's the big mistake of online stores with advertising.

    I think we can also agree that the more annoying the ad the LESS likely we are to click on it. But the more likely we are to click on it, by accident.

    Lastly I think the biggest problem with internet advertising is that you have a bunch of websites providing something for free. Webcomics being the best example. And the people who run those sites try to make money. Some people try to make enough money to live off of their webcomics. If I made a comic, or any other kind of site, I would pay for it myself from my JOB, or I would make just enough money off it to pay for hosting. Too many people are trying to make a profit off of websites that aren't providing a profitable service, but are popular. So they run ads, which don't work, so in desperation they get more and bigger and more annoying ads to make more money. I think more people should look at penny arcade as an example as to how to make money without making ads better. I think gabe talked about this the other day actually.
  • by Fex303 ( 557896 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @08:44AM (#4870129)
    I think that format of the ad is not the problem. It's the content. Displaying a huge ad on a website that gets readers who don't care about the product won't get clicked on.

    Furthermore, if you annoy your reader/viewer then they won't be inclined to find out more about the product you've got to sell. That's why animated ad, popups, flash ads, etc never, ever get clicked on. At least, not by me.

    Gabe from Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] said in a recent rant/news bulliten [penny-arcade.com] something that sums it up nicely:

    Here is another little behind the scenes look at the way advertising works on the internet. Game companies want animation. They want a fucking guy to parachute down from the top of your screen and land on the article you're trying to read. They want you to have to interact with their advertisement just so you can see the content you came for. Everyone who uses the internet knows that this kind of shit is just frustrating. Look at sites like IGN, Gamespot, or Gamespy. You can't read an article there without an animated bug crawling across your screen or some flash ad blaring shitty music. When we decided to do advertising we decided that we wouldn't ever run any kind of animated add. Some companies won't advertise with us because of it. Others, it's like pulling teeth to get a non animated ad out of them. They have this idea in their head that the only way their ads will be effective is if they are annoying as fuck.

    Some of them are actually shocked when ads at PA out perform animated versions at other sites like IGN. Here we are just a little comic site and we kick their fucking ass. We tell them that if you don't insult people with shitty flash ads, they are much more likely to actually check out your game. I have never once clicked on a flash ad except to mute it or close it and I have a feeling you guys are pretty much the same. They just can't get it through their heads that people don't like to be annoyed by advertising.

    Penny Arcade, those guys really are the source of all wisdom...

  • Rofl... (Score:2, Funny)

    by pr0c ( 604875 )
    Its not the size of the ad that matters :P I block image ads period. I don't care if its 468x60 or 800x600.

    How about some Dr Suse?

    Do you like banner ads and spam?
    I do not like them advertising man.
    Do you like them big or small?
    I do not liek them big or small i do not like ads at all.
    Do you like them popped up or behind?
    I do not like them popped up or behind i do not like any kind!
    Do you prefer we send you spam?
    I filter it out and blacklist it mam.

    The 100% way to be sure i will NEVER buy your product is to popup/pop-behind, flash ad, or banner ad me. Whats the best form of advertising in my opinion? Recommendation within reviews perhaps, text ads and similar methods. ITS CALLED TARGETING, something that is beyond most ad companies.
  • If you block popups, you're stealing...

    Next, if you don't click through at percentage rate, you're stealing...

    After that, if you don't read spam at percentage rate, and click through at percentage rate, you're stealing...

    Obviously hardware DRM is not a sufficient answer. The real solution will include eyeball and ear metering devices installed shortly after birth, prior to leaving the hospital. Of course this leaves a 'theft gap' of a few days of newborn media consumption, but that loophole can be closed, later.
  • I don't like adverts either, but what's the alternative for companies offering free hosting? Are we saying that all hosting should be paying, either as part of ISP subscriptions or as a standalone service? If not, how do all the people posting about the evils of adverts think that that free hosting should be financed? Selling email addresses to spam merchants?

    Web advertising does pay, otherwise people wouldn't do it. Sure, Looking at the sites that people use in my cybercafe, masses of hideous publicity dosn't seem to put a lot of people off.

  • The web page with content packed into a 728 x 90 strip!

    You know what the rest will be.
  • I feel that since I already pay for the hardware to surf the net, and the expensive connection, I should not be subjected to intrusive advertising. Add that to the fact that some providers will start capping your data and it ammounts to just plain frustrating. Frankly, I dont care if most of the sites cant afford to stay in business without adds. There are too many sites that suck anyway, and too many lazy web masters trying to stay at home and get paid to write rants (see Something Awful [somethingawful.com]). Find another model. (like membership plans, selling Tshirts, bake sales, I dont care) I mean, if you like the site, you'll support it.
  • If flash is going to be used more and more for avertising, I'll have no other option than removing it.
    http://nu.nl/news.jsp?n=87229&c=50 shows a shaking bottle thingy on the left enat will pop open when you mouse-over it.
    it annois and distradts me everytime i want to read the news.

    maybe i'm still from the HTML 1.0 age, but the web will be the same without flash, but the web will be even better without shouting ads :-)
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:02AM (#4870274) Homepage
    The problem is not size. People refuse to click the ads because nobody wants all the funky Javascript and browser tricks that interfere with going back to the original page.

    I expect all kinds of shenanigans if I click a banner, therefore I don't do it. Any ads that cannot be suppressed with a proxy filter will be ignored. Making the ads larger will not change anything.
  • These ads are getting bigger and bigger and more and more interactive. But what is 'globally seen' the goal of the advertiser, they want to reach something .. inform you, get you to buy a product, brand the company and so on. The bigger the banners get, the more attention they're requesting the more annoyed the user will become .. and cause the user will remember the thing that is advertised for as a bad thing cause it has annoyed you! So what will happen? You will get a bad feeling about the advertising company or the thing what is advertised for. If we are going on this way .. the tide will turn and advertising will not lead into new 'leads' but only into lost of customers and new leads.
  • What they do when you first load gamespot.com.

    You get the ad before you get the ever moving homepage. They set a cookie so you don't see that ad again. It's a tad bothersome but for their good reviews it's worth it.
  • on my browser the referenced web pages were an unreadable mess and required flash - which is not available for my combination of OS/HW/Browser.

    Lousy adverts kill commerce

  • Makes it easier to write ad blocking software when the ad sizes are standardized. :-)
  • Heh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zapfie ( 560589 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:10AM (#4870348)
    The real solution? A clean layout that showcases the ad well, delivering your ad to an audience who is actually interested, and not insulting the viewer with cheap tricks like animating nausea-inducing flashing colors. Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] has done this with its layout, and even with a smaller reader base they outperform ads from sites like IGN [ign.com]. To quote: [penny-arcade.com]

    Here is another little behind the scenes look at the way advertising works on the internet. Game companies want animation. They want a fucking guy to parachute down from the top of your screen and land on the article you're trying to read. They want you to have to interact with their advertisement just so you can see the content you came for. Everyone who uses the internet knows that this kind of shit is just frustrating. Look at sites like IGN, Gamespot, or Gamespy. You can't read an article there without an animated bug crawling across your screen or some flash ad blaring shitty music. When we decided to do advertising we decided that we wouldn't ever run any kind of animated add. Some companies won't advertise with us because of it. Others, it's like pulling teeth to get a non animated ad out of them. They have this idea in their head that the only way their ads will be effective is if they are annoying as fuck.

    Some of them are actually shocked when ads at PA out perform animated versions at other sites like IGN. Here we are just a little comic site and we kick their fucking ass. We tell them that if you don't insult people with shitty flash ads, they are much more likely to actually check out your game. I have never once clicked on a flash ad except to mute it or close it and I have a feeling you guys are pretty much the same. They just can't get it through their heads that people don't like to be annoyed by advertising.

    I feel like we have a pretty good relationship you and I. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel like we treat you guys pretty well and I think that's why you treat us so well in return. You click on our ads and buy our stuff at an unbelievable rate. Those new Wang Fu shirts sold out in one fucking day. I mean that is some crazy shit. Tycho and I just want to say thanks. We have the best job in the world and we have it because of you guys. It seems like we should hug or something now.


    End quote

    To me, at least, it seems like current ad companies are ramming their head against this big wall of how to make effective advertising, and their solution seems to be to just ram their head harder against that same wall.
  • by henben ( 578800 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:11AM (#4870355)
    The advertising sales dept at a previous job told me about one of their most lucrative and effective (for the advertisers) forms of advertising. Apparently, sponsorship of our newsletter - effectively a one or two line text ad in an opt-in news email - was very effective. Also, the site made a fair bit of money through selling relevant books, job listings, etc. This was over a year ago now - how long will it take marketers to get a clue? Don't they understand that the way to get results is to make advertising relevant and useful, rather than increasingly intrusive? I like the ads on Google because sometimes they actually help me with what I'm trying to do. Also, didn't we just hear that Amazon's affiliate program is one of its most cost-effective marketing tools? All the IAB proposal will do is increase the usage of ad-filtering software. I filter (most) ads and have no compunction about doing so, because I already know that I don't want to punch the fucking monkey. I understand that branding ads are a different animal from direct sales pitches. If they're done entertainingly (e.g. the Absolut ads on the Onion), then I don't have a problem with them. The people complaining about "leeching" pop-up blockers, and demanding bigger formats, are the ones advertising on the principle of throwing garish shit at millions of eyeballs in the hope that some of it sticks. These are the companies selling overhyped security products, online gambling, cyberstalking software etc. Sites accepting this kind of stuff are only harming themselves in the long term. If you think your site's survival depends on this sort of thing, you're doomed - explore other possibilities!
  • When I read the headline, I was shocked: The IAB recommends advertising? ("IAB" expands to "Internet Architecture Board", at least in Internet context.)
  • People keep saying that web advertising must work otherwise people wouldn't do it.

    Well, maybe it doesn't, but until a company tries, it doesn't know - and there are plenty of companies yet to try!

    I have a theory that one day, Yahoo! will go out of business because everybody who could advertise with them has tried - and found it doesn't work!

    The minimum ad spend on Yahoo! is $5k per month, so they can juice money out of plenty of companies that haven't tried yet on the premise that it might work, knowing full well that it probably won't....!

    Come to think of it, as long as new companies come along at a frequency big enough to sustain Yahoo! then they might not go out of business.

    I'm not being entirely serious. :)

    Internet Advertising:
    If you don't try it, you'll never know....
  • Ralph Wiggum once said the immortal lines "What's a battle? [snpp.com]". Seeing stuff like this makes me say "What's a banner ad? [privoxy.org]".
  • by henben ( 578800 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:14AM (#4870385)
    The advertising sales dept at a previous job told me about one of their most lucrative and effective (for the advertisers) forms of advertising.

    Apparently, sponsorship of our newsletter - effectively a one or two line text ad in an opt-in news email - was very effective.

    Also, the site made a fair bit of money through selling relevant books, job listings, etc.

    This was over a year ago now - how long will it take marketers to get a clue? Don't they understand that the way to get results is to make advertising relevant and useful, rather than increasingly intrusive? I like the ads on Google because sometimes they actually help me with what I'm trying to do.

    Also, didn't we just hear that Amazon's affiliate program is one of its most cost-effective marketing tools?

    All the IAB proposal will do is increase the usage of ad-filtering software. I filter (most) ads and have no compunction about doing so, because I already know that I don't want to punch the fucking monkey.

    I understand that branding ads are a different animal from direct sales pitches. If they're done entertainingly (e.g. the Absolut ads on the Onion), then I don't have a problem with them.

    The people complaining about "leeching" pop-up blockers, and demanding bigger formats, are the ones advertising on the principle of throwing garish shit at millions of eyeballs in the hope that some of it sticks. These are the companies selling overhyped security products, online gambling, cyberstalking software etc. Sites accepting this kind of stuff are only harming themselves in the long term. If you think your site's survival depends on this sort of thing, you're doomed - explore other possibilities!

  • by Mr Guy ( 547690 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:15AM (#4870389) Journal
    This is when I wouldn't mind certain trusted stores being a little more intensive with what they do with my information they already have.

    Example, Amazon.com has a reputation to protect, so I, perhaps ignorantly, trust them with LOTS of my information, including my credit card numbers and other data about myself. Foolish as it may be, I trust them because I believe I personally wouldn't mind at all if they went ahead and asked me when I bought something what it was for, letting me optionally tell them I was buying it for my wife for Christmas, or for my sister for her birthday.

    In addition to the profile they build about me then, they could build useful profiles about who I interact with. I honestly wouldn't mind at ALL if they gave me some option of connecting Me Myname who lives at 123 Thisstreet USA with Mywife Myname at 123 Thisstreet USA, perhaps asking me first if, yes, they are the person I'm related to or friends with. Then, instead of randomly spamming book suggestions at me, they could say,

    Special Day Alert You know, your wife's birthday is coming up, if you buy now we can ship it there in plenty of time, and by the way, you bought her alot of science fiction books before, but she buys mostly classic novels for herself, so we'd suggest getting something a little more romantic this time. Maybe these titles are more her taste:

    I sure wouldn't mind a notice that such and such has already bought the book I'm about to ship to their address, maybe I'd like to pick another.

    Of course, to give them that level of control I'd want an easy to navigate privacy agreement that specifies what happens if the company gets bought or folds. You'd also have to opt in on BOTH sides. (You can't tell the husband the wife has been browsing 'Divorce Made Easy' with her consent of course).

    If your ads are part of your service, your customers will begin to love them.
  • Mozilla ad dimmer... (Score:2, Informative)

    by SheepHead ( 610180 )
    Posted earlier to slashdot, sorry I don't know who posted it... but here it is modified to include those new sizes... put it in your <profile>\chrome directory as userContent.css. For Windows 98 that is <windir>\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\default\<random.slt>\chrome; Win2k puts it under C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\etc.

    Watch out for the slashcode bug that inserts an extra space on the 180x150 line... and on the 180x150:hover line.

    ---

    /* makes ads almost invisible
    * - taken from http://archivist.incutio.com/css-discuss/?id=13557
    * slightly modified to include new banner sizes ... */

    [src*="ads."], [src*="ads/"],
    [src*="doubleclick"],
    [href*="dou bleclick."] *,
    [href*="rd.yahoo.com"] [src*="yimg.com"],
    [width="60"][height="468"],
    [ width="468"][height="60"],
    [width="120"][height=" 600"],
    [width="120"][height="60"],
    [width="728"] [height="90"],
    [width="160"][height="600"],
    [wid th="300"][height="250"],
    [width="180"][height="15 0"]

    {
    -moz-outline: medium dotted red;
    -moz-opacity: 10%;
    }

    /* returns ads to 40% opacity when the mouse hovers... */

    [src*="ads."]:hover, [src*="ads/"]:hover,
    [src*="doubleclick"]:hover,
    [href*=".doubleclick."] *:hover,
    [href*="rd.yahoo.com"] [src*="yimg.com"]:hover,
    [width="60"][height="468 "]:hover,
    [width="468"][height="60"]:hover,
    [wid th="120"][height="600"]:hover,
    [width="120"][heig ht="60"]:hover,
    [width="728"][height="90"]:hover,
    [width="160"][height="600"]:hover,
    [width="300" ][height="250"]:hover,
    [width="180"][height="150" ]:hover
    {
    -moz-outline: medium dashed red;
    -moz-opacity: 40%;
    }
  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:16AM (#4870395) Journal
    I have delayed reactions and I browse quickly. There have been an insignificant number of times where an ad strikes my fancy and that fact registers as I am clicking to go to a new page. I want to click on the ad, so I page back, and it's some other ad. The ad I want is gone and no way to find it again.

    Every site that serves ads should have a single page with a list of all ads so someone who wants to go back and see an ad, even maybe a day or two later, can quickly find it and click through.

    Real life recent example: I saw an ad on slashdot for some network camera that I later wanted to find out more info about. I haven't seen that damn ad since and I'm not going to keep hitting reload until it may pop up again.

    Marketing people need a big 2x4 clue-stick fed-ex'ed to their forehead at times...

  • While I'm certain they didn't have a /. audience in mind when they posted it, I couldn't help but notice the headline that asks "WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ON THE UNIVERSAL AD PACKAGE?" with a link to a survey [iab.net] where you can tell 'em what you really think.
  • How about a new TLD (.noads?? :) in which websites could either be completely free or actually charge MONEY for their service?

    I know it would never work but it's a nice thought! :)
  • Isn't that the old saying? I see banner advertisements. I actually read them. Seeing them doesn't mean I'm going to click on them.

    If there's a product I like, I'm happy to click on a banner. Truth be told, if I find the advertisement offensively large, I won't, out of principal. I'll go directly to the site bypassing the ad. I've done it before, and I'll continue to do it if ads continue to get larger and more annoying.

    But that's just me.
  • I'll never see them anyway. I use Mozilla.

    Temporarily, it will put more money in web sites' coffers through more advertising dollars, heavily subsidized by new and unsophisitcated users.

    Long term, the preponderance of pop-ups will further motivate and/or educate IE and Netscape users to switch to Mozilla and use its cookie, image and popup blocking capabilities.

    At some point, web sites will then have to learn a new way to make money other than pissing of thier users.

    In the meantime, I'm unaffected. :)
  • I come from England, and until recently, advertising outside of magazines was considered offensive. On the BBC's Tomorrow's World TV show, product names and logos were covered up. Consumer purchased products because they saw them in use elsewhere. I bought my first Audi Coupé GT because a friend visited in one, and I was impressed. All advertising does is re-inforce a brand. If we purchased products because we saw them advertised, we would be idiots because we would be parting with our money without knowing if what we we purchasing was a viable product. Word of mouth sells. Of course, advertising is essential to introduce a new product too, but an opt in (permission marketing) based service is a way to clean up the web. And yup, I'm about to advertise. We're about to do it at GoNumber.net [gonumber.net] by allowing those with a Personal [gonumber.net] listing to choose to receive news from the manufacturers of products. For example, if you own a particular car, you will be able to opt to be notified of recalls, new gadgets, models etc. Simply click a checkbox to stop the flow. The potential is significant and finally offers an alternative to an advertising overload.

  • by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:31AM (#4870518)
    It seems inevitable that this will lead to a technology arms race.

    The advertisers get more obnoxious. Browsers and proxies get better at screening out ads. More features will appear to help the end user. And those features will become more sophisticated.

    Here is a hypothetical example. [Disclaimer: this example is purely hypothetical. I have not done this myself, and am not trying to induce browser authors to commit a crime. Remember, a web site has to make money, and not watching ads is stealing!] Anyway, that said, suppose a browser (or proxy?) went through all the motions of running the ad. Executed the ad code, scripts, flash animations, etc. Dutifully simulated the popup windows, and executed their code. Dutifully requested all of the graphics, flash animations, and other inline content for the popup windows. This way the server really thinks that you see the ad. After all, your browser requested a flash that is only embedded in the popup. So you must not be a thief, because you are seeing the ad. The problem is, the authors of this browser or proxy have induced their users into stealing because the browser or proxy doesn't actually display the ads or popup windows. It still consumes the bandwidth, but these evil crooks (i.e. users) don't care.

    This technique will prevent the advertisers from knowing that you've seen the ad. From their perspective, your browser has executed all the right code and requested all the right content from the server that should be associated with viewing this page.

    Seen from the perspective I've described it here (advertiser friendly, and users as thieves) could the above hypothetical example be construed as a circumvention device? "Our content is protected by Anti-Leech, and these evil hackers have circumvented it. That's as bad as spray painting ad billboards!"

    In the end, we'll have heads up displays in cars, with ad billboards constantly popping up in our face while driving. This will be seen as enormously beneficial in eliminating the visual clutter of billboards on buildings and roadways.
  • The advertisers really don't get it.

    I don't pay attention to most ads. Many annoy me. Almost all are irrelevant to me.

    From my perspective what ad comanies need are to make them:
    • More attention getting, but . . .
    • Less annoying and . .
    • Make them relevant.


    In other words, make the ads something useful to me that I'm interested in. Make it a service, make me GLAD to have them (or at least not against them).

    What place has the ads I pay attention to the most? Slashdot.org. The ads fit my interests and the interests of the site.

    Some good targeting and restrained, intelligent design will do wonders. Trying to dominate my screen and get in my face is only going to make me not want to buy said product.

    This is just more proof the ad people are existing in their own dreamworld.
  • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @09:46AM (#4870621) Journal
    michael wrote "For some reason advertisers never come up with new, smaller advertising formats."

    Just because 'the advertisers' come up with these new formats doesn't mean you have to use them. GET CREATIVE. How about clearly marked slashdot articles that are actually advertisements? Hell, some of the ones you run now sure sound like them already, might as well get paid and make it legitimate with an 'Advertisement' label. Don't let non-paying slashdot members block that category, either. Let the advertiser decide whether or not to allow comments on the product. Hell, give the advertiser infinite mod points for that article, they're paying for it. (Just as long as you let everyone know.)

    Google innovated with their ads. They're making money and not pissing us off with bigger ads.

    All that having been said, I find it amusing that slashdot is using HUGE banner ads only on the reply pages. It's like you're punishing the one group of people that add content to your site. Kinda lame, but I guess you'd rather just "blame it on the advertisers."
  • by rknop ( 240417 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @10:12AM (#4870905) Homepage

    A couple of months ago, I read something simlar. TV advertisers were bemoaning the fact that individual TV ads no longer have the effect they once did. Viewers are tuning out-- wether by fast-forwarding, or just by not really paying attention. Some of them went on to say that the problem partly was saturation. The fraction of the hour that has ads on a typical TV broadcast has grown, to the point that there are so many ads that no one ad stands out very much any more.

    (My reaction to this, and to the surprise that came through in the article about this, was: well, duh!)

    Then they go on to suggest the solution: in-programming advertising. Popups, effectively, in TV programs, more obvious and blatant than product placement.

    So, the logic is: advertising has become so prevalent and overwhelming that the common consumer is starting to get desensitized to it. To solve this "problem", we need to make advertising even more prevalent and overwhelming.

    Hello?

    We're so in love with our marketing-driven society that we've become incapable of thinking any other way.

    I predict that "popup-ads" during TV shows whould just drive more and more people away from broadcast TV and to watching either premium channels, renting movies, or (horrors) reading books. Broadcast TV will be shooting itself in the foot.

    Similarly for web sites that don't think their ads are annoying enough right now. If they think that the solution is to make them more annoying, then users will either avoid their sites, or just use browsers that, in the increasing arms race, filter out the annoying ads. (Until the Fed. government outlaws those browsers, at which point the laws will become irrelevant since they are in conflict with what most of the population wants and does. Maybe eventually they will realize the short-sightedness of their current campaign finance model.)

    I just shake my head when people seem to think that the solution to oversaturation of advertising is more in-your-face advertising. Don't they get it? Can't they take a lesson from Google, who subsists on advertising? Yeah, sure, Google is the #1 destination on the site, so they have it easy. Perhaps, though, nobody has considered that part of the reason Google is the #1 destination may be that their advertising is very minimally annoying....

    -Rob

  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday December 12, 2002 @10:33AM (#4871152)
    to consider that we just don't want to buy the crap they're selling?

    I mean really. When did it become the *advertising's* fault that your product is an undesirable piece of shit?

    It's the basic premise of capitalist exchange people. I have money. You want it.

    *You have to offer me something I wish to possess more than my money.*

    Christ almighty on a shingle, the marketroids are actually starting to believe their dumb ads "make" us buy stuff and that if they run the ad we're somehow obligated to purchase.

    Hey, you over there, in the suit. Yeah, you. Get a clue or get a real job, ok?

    KFG

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