Yes, we all know that print has all but died and that online revenue isn’t enough to keep global news media outlets in business and there is a constant search for new ways of earning revenue. I get that, we all get that. However, when you cross the line from ‘advertising’ to ‘irritating’ you aren’t doing any good for anyone. Not the advertiser or the publication that is producing the ads.
If you want your brand to stick out from the crowd and have people purchase and explore your products the way NOT to do it is to bombard them with intrusive online advertising. This puts your brand and/or product in a bad light.
What needs to stop? The list is pretty long, but here are a few examples:
- Ads that run on the left, right, top and bottom of a website. I have seen many sites do this and it’s extremely distracting to the content of the site. Today WashingtonPost.com has that up and I haven’t gone to the site much because the ads are so distracting. If you are an advertiser don’t alienate your potential client base.
- Video Pre Roll. The ads you are forced to watch before you see a video clip. This is a very tough place to be in. If you force your audience to see your message, you might find hostility is the result, not more interest in your product. Some video pre roll has an option to stop the ad after 15 seconds. Do advertisers ever ask how many people click that option? They should because it shows a potential clients interest in their product and it also shows that the news media outlet is annoying their followers.
- Ads that come up before you can even get to the website you are looking for. Instant turn off. I don’t usually go back to sites that have that.
- Any kind of advertising that covers the news that is on that particular site is unacceptable. The news a website is putting out should never be covered, it shows a complete disrespect for the news they are presenting and disregard for a viewers time.
- Any kind of flashing, moving, spinning banner ads that make me feel like I am hung over.
- Drop down ad unit that happens every time you come to that particular site. Those kinds of ads should be done once only to each unique visitor.
What’s the point of all this? First off, advertisers are alienating their current and potential client base, i.e. losing revenue. Secondly the media outlet that is allowing these kind of ads is showing desperation and turning their audiences off.
What is acceptable online advertising? I think the nicest form of online advertising is having a full page ad appear when you go to a site and click on an article. These ads are what we are all used to from newspapers and you can easily X them out and go directly to the article. I think that is the best way to introduce your brand to people. The second best way would be to have a creative, non moving, ad unit on pages that entices people to check it out.
For all of you advertisers and publications re-read this piece more than once. Your goal needs to be engagement of audience, not anger from the audience.
There is a better way to shape online advertising, keep listening, more to come.