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by Glenn Franxman, Django Developer / Stunt Programmer.

Are you wasting your ad budget online?

posted: 2007-07-30 23:41:10 perma-link, RSS comments feed

Business 2.0 has a post about the popularity of online email programs for delivering ads. I'm cross-posting my response here because I don't frequent their blogs enough.

Yeah, email sites rank among the top places for putting ads -- because they are applications with which people spend a lot of time. But all of that time means that the users are building up proficiency with the app and that translates to ad blindness. Ads in such applications are the easiest to ignore for several reasons.

First, a successful application will have a consistant user interface. That consistancy makes using the app easier, but it makes ignoring the ads easier too.

Second, because applications require multi-step interactions to achieve a goal, the user must ignore the ads in early stages of any work-flow in order to accomplish their task.

Combine the need to ignore ads with mechanisms to make ignoring them easy and you've got a recipe for wasting your ad spend.

The flip side is if you simply want to have your logo infront of people as part of a brand awareness campaign. In that case, you win, because email application engage users for relatively large amounts of time. But if you count yourself among the more common cases of those trying to get traffic to their sites, you lose.



Rob Perkins commented, on August 2, 2007 at 12:35 a.m.:

If the ads were to persist through a click in the workflow for a period of time, instead of being tied to the lifetime of a page, they might have more impact and make the spend more worthwhile. One or two eye-catching tricks, such as a modest animation, will guide the eye enough for brand impression. It works for, bleah... The rest always depends on whether the viewer is directly in the market for the product anyway.

Measure duration instead of clickthrough and charge for time instead of impressions. And swap the ads from time to time even if there hasn't been a click to another page. Web 2.0 AJAX-ish supersites ought to be more than capable of that.

People who use AdBlock in their Firefox install aren't reachable with any online ad before any of this comes into consideration anyway, but if there were a way (as I think there certainly is) of delivering the meat-content of the site only if the ads were also delivered, people who really want that web email app would whitelist.

Me? I use IMAP and POP3 and only go to the sites when I'm on the road and the internet connection is weird. <3 Entourage!


Erin commented, on August 20, 2012 at 1:17 p.m.:

This is pretty ienrtesting on a few levels. I looked at more of the shots and the video on the Diesel site that sums up the point of view. They are expressing the happy accident that most artists allow for, but they are moving it to a philosophy. Nothing good comes from planning. If you're safe, you'll miss all the good stuff.But. What they are really doing, ad-wise, is feeding the need to rebel of their target customers, say kids 14-25ish. Buying jeans for $200 is basically stupid especially in the current economy. But hey, stupid is smart! So, if you really want to be the one who is having all the fun and shaking up the status quo, buy these stupid jeans!

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