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Believe it or not, you're a wider audience

Response to a Medium post awhile back where a guy was bewailing the state of his ability to sell advertising on his site, or possibly to another site.  Anyway, I don't think even HE read it which is annoying.  What do you folks think?

Alas, the problem is the Ad Model itself…

The problem is not with ads on the internet, ad blocking software and the like, it is with the ad model itself. It is predicated on interrupting what the user is doing to ask them to do something else. Everything else is a matter of format. Some formats, like telemarketing are so strong an interruption that they become seen as public nuisances and garner abatement campaigns, but any is an exercise in attracting the would-be customer’s attention without pissing him off. And too many ads fail, and in doing so affect the reputation of the rest. This is WHY people screen calls, skip TV ads, and use ad blocking software.

Now back when I was a kid in the ‘50s, there was no way to skip TV ads (yes, kids, there was a time before TiVo) so mostly people learned to ignore them. The TV ads responded like an ignored toddler, and got louder and more insistent, and the ability to ignore them also went up, until finally people got sufficiently annoyed that laws were enacted to limit what TV ads were allowed to do. I see no reason that outlawing ad blocking software would not have both results at once — people clamoring for nuisance abatement laws, and ignoring of the ads themselves. Or, of course, do like the reason I did not check a specific mattress store when shopping for a new one awhile back — their radio ad was so memorable that I swore I’d never patronize them. This is not the solution.

What model would be better? One that people WANTED to read/watch/hear so they went for it. Ever look for a movie trailer on You Tube? Checked IMDb for information about a movie, upcoming or past? Or looked at the movie maker’s website for all sorts of upcoming movie info, and bonus information? See also the “Google” model — you want to buy a new television, you don’t look around for random ads; you search on television types, and go from there, to track it down. Same goes for just about anything suitable for shipping. On the whole the entire setup of the net allows much the same approach as I use when I go to the local supermarket for fresh peaches; I go through what’s available and see what I like best. Now it’s not perfect — for one thing which particular search engine you use will probably determine what you find, and in what order. But I think we’ve got the germ of something here… and staying competitive on the most popular search engines may prove far more useful than clamoring to put a noisy request to “click here” on the screen of a random user (who is probably conditioned against just clicking here by now anyway).

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
mmegaera
Aug. 31st, 2015 09:28 pm (UTC)
I was a proofreader for newspaper display ads (the big ones in the body of the newspaper, not the classifieds) in a former life. I always thought it was because of this experience that I have a severe allergy to all sorts of advertising (my TV mute button is the only one on the remote where the print's worn off -- I'm a Luddite and don't have a TiVo because I only have bare bones cable and my cable plan doesn't come with one).

My attitude is that if I want to spend money on something, I'll go looking for that something myself, thankyouverymuch.

This makes life difficult when I have something (my novels) to sell, though, because I don't want to do unto others what I hate having done to me.
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