|Column: Pop those pop ups|
Friday, 16 March 2012 10:10
Advertising is, as everyone in the publishing game knows (and this applies as much to print as it does to online) the life blood of any title.
Retail sales of a magazine are important, as are subscriptions, but it's advertising revenue that really pays my salary.
Knowing this, I've become incredibly aware of the different forms of advertising, what works, what doesn't, and what really p****s me off. I appreciate how some understated adds get their point across without trying too hard, how some adverts are too clever for their own good, and how some are clearly aiming for a demographic that I'm certainly not part of.
Sometimes I shake my head and wonder just how a company is allowed to air an advert at all. I also often wonder, and this applies mostly to street pole advertising, how any normal person is expected to read the tiny script, whilst driving, placed haphazardly on an ad.
News-flash people, it doesn't matter how creatively brilliant you feel your ad is, or how good it looks on your PC screen, if it doesn't get your point across quickly, it's a bad advert.
What all the above really means is that as a consumer, I expect to see advertising, can appreciate some of it, will stop and read something that catches my eye, will watch or listen to ads if I choose to, or will simply skip those ads that don't appeal to me.
There is however, one form of advertising that I absolutely hate, one that in my mind is like the streaker at a rugby game, it thinks it's clever and important, but all it really does is show how insignificant its tackle (or selling point) really is.
This form of advertising is the pop-up ad. It feels it's important enough to pop into whatever I'm doing, but it's not.
I don't appreciate it when an ad pops up while I'm trying to download nursery rhymes for my daughter to watch, and specially not when the pop up means that instead of loading the video clip, I have to wait for and then delete the ad before the clip can start.
I hate it when someone thinks it's clever to pop something onto my screen telling me that as I'm the trillionth customer today I've just won something useless, and all I have to do get this free prize is "click here".
I dislike it when I use some trial software and every ten minutes it pops up an ad telling me what it's done for me, how many days I've got left of the trial, or how if I buy now I'll get a special discounted rate. Sorry software vendor, but I know when I installed the software, can figure out its value myself, and the only thing your irritating ads do is make me reach for the delete key.
What pop ups do is take away choice. I can no longer choose to look at it as it pops up right in my face. I can't choose to ignore it as it's obscuring the things on screen that I want to look at.
Some marketing guru probably believes, or has convinced his clients, that forcing an ad into my psyche means that I've seen it and will react to it, and in a way he's right.
By forcing the ad on me you have forced me into a decision, although my decision is probably not the one being sold to clients.
Just like satisfaction people get when that streaker displaying his wobbly bits (and not the kind worth looking at) gets taken down by a half dozen of the biggest security guards at a rugby game, I get satisfaction from deciding to delete pop up ads and making the decision to never use the product being advertised.
I know I'm not alone in hating silly pop up ads, and perhaps some advertising execs will realise this too. Until this happens I should perhaps thank those companies who do use pop up ads for making shopping easier by eliminating themselves from the decision making process.
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