Friday, March 23, 2012

Choice Based Ads Are Based On The Wrong Hypothesis

Here we go again.

The ones who are supposed to know better are once again telling us that if we let viewers choose the ad they want to watch before they watch what they want to watch online, they’ll start to love advertising.

They claim that it’s the lack of relevance that makes people hate advertising online. So by allowing the viewer to decide which ad they want to sit through, then the viewer determines relevance.

And all is right again in the world.

Except for one thing.

It’s the intrusive nature of advertising that people dislike, not necessarily the advertising itself.

How does giving people a choice of ads to watch make the whole thing less intrusive?

Doesn’t it actually make the whole thing more intrusive? Let's see, do I want to watch A, B or C?

YouTube almost has it right. They’re putting up a notice saying that you can delete the commercial in three, two, one seconds.

Anybody not ever delete the commercial when given the opportunity?

The thing is, it takes around three seconds to figure out that you can delete the commercial. And, guess what? Three seconds constitutes a view.

Which means the advertiser gets charged even though nobody’s watching past three seconds.

So what’s the answer?

Viewer-initiated advertising that doesn’t intrude.

In other words, find a way to create advertising that's interesting/entertaining/humorous enough so that peole will want to click on it to watch it.

C'mon, no one would do that, would they?

Do you know how much video is watched online every day? Over 4 billion videos on YouTube alone.

Video that is all viewer-intiated.

Yes, I know, very little of that is advertising. But it proves something.

Human beings are curious. They’ll watch what they’re curious in.

Make your advertising so it creates curiosity.

Stop interrupting.

Start intriguing.

And, stop this nonesense about choice based advertising.

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