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CNet running info on new ad spots
rcjordan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 6:50 pm on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just picked this up from the IAB rectangle on Cnet. Looks like they're on a consumer-education campaign re the new ad sizes.
message here [home.cnet.com]

 

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 8:22 pm on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've gotta admit these new ads confound me.

So the advertisers find out that no body was clicking on their ads, so their response is to make them BIGGER?!!

Sure they load fast, but its still an ugly big box in the middle of my page that is very distracting. On Cnet they only manage to fit one or two small words in the column next to the ad now. I just have to scroll more to read less. Same for others.

Sure I dont have to go off-page to experience this "rich" advertising experience, but I could do that anway with banner ads that said they opened in a new window.

I know people in this forum are quite positive about these new ads, but a little voice is telling me that the advertising industry is panicking. I predict these ads will be ignored just the same as banner ads given a short while.

Plus they will make me want to go to sites which use them less.

When will we wake up that the problem with banner ads is not that they are too small, now that they dont open in a new window, nor that they are not interactive or "rich" enough? I go to the Internet for information, not ads.

Now if I see a service or product advertised on-line which is wholly relevant to the page, and which is integrated in the copy or shows the product in use on the page, THEN I will click.

It's the poor targeting and context that is the problem, not the ad itself.

How stupid do they really think we are? The internet advertising conglomerate's last gasp for sure...

rcjordan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 8:45 pm on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

>quite positive

I've presented the positive side of the IAB formats because we needed to break the 'doom and gloom' mindset. However, I generally agree with the points you've made. I don't think it's going to be the great savior of web-based advertising, but it will have it's successful applications and simply go into the publisher's toolbox. Heck, I can still get 468x60's to produce an attractive ROI for certain clients or affiliate promotions.

>When will we wake up that the problem with banner ads is not that they are too small, now that they dont open in a new window, nor that they are not interactive or "rich" enough? I go to the Internet for information, not ads.

Yep! And the real success comes when the advertiser's site is seen as part of the information provided, just as you've said.

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 8:57 pm on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)


RC - you said it much better than me...

"...real success comes when the advertiser's site is seen as part of the information provided..."

mivox

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 9:12 pm on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Of course banner content *does* need to fit in to the content of the displaying page, and the giant "in the middle of the article" boxes mentioned before *are* obnoxious, but...

I *like* the skyscraper ads... they fit perfectly in a side-bar, where they won't interfere witht he main page content, and they offer more room for relevant info than the old style horizontal banners.

While advertising needs to match the content/demographic target group of the host page, advertising content that blends perfectly into the page makes me uneasy. Newspapers and magazines have a long-standing convention of surrounding "blend in" ads with the words "Advertisment" or "Special Advertising Section" for a reason... to protect the credibility of their actual content. Lest the web totally lose any reputation it may have as a source of reliable information, webmasters should be *very* careful what kind of ads they 'hide' in amongst their regular content.

rcjordan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 9:32 pm on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

I like the skyscraper, too. I've seen a few now, and they don't really bother me over on the right beside the scrollbar. Heck, I've even read one or two of them but they weren't hawking anything I needed at the moment.

Yes, I agree that disclosure is important for many informational sites, but -frankly- I don't see it happening. This is particularly true for text links, which are very effective precisely because they segue so seamlessly to the advertiser's site. About the best one can hope for is a good description that does not misrepresent what is on the other side of the click.

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 12:13 am on May 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

Agree Mivox on separating editorial from advertorial. A lot depends on generating credibility for a Web site. If links that look like genuine realted information but actually link to just advertising, then the site will lose readers and credibility vey fast.

We run a business magazine and one of our sponsors is a journal publisher. We provide free research articles from them, with the links from the content of our columnist. That is how we try to integrate. When they see the article there is also a small section telling them how to subscribe to the whole journal. What we do is "contextualize" their offerings for the specific demographics of our site, and show how useful it is.

sean orourke

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 2:42 am on May 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

Chiyo, please know I always enjoy your thoughtful and thought-provoking posts. Having said that, I must bring up some counterpoints for the sake of a well-rounded discussion:

>> So the advertisers find out that no body was clicking on their ads, so their response is to make them BIGGER?!!

Are the ads bigger to get more clicks, or are the ads bigger to get more than clicks? Let's remove clicks from the equation momentarily...

(A) What is the value of a highly targeted banner ad if it offers no clickable link?
(B) What is the value of a highly targeted skyscraper ad if it offers no clickable link?

Which of the above offers more potential value beyond the simple "click here" refrain?

You don't see many newspapers or magazines supported by the equivalent of a banner at the top of the page. Newspapers, magazines, radio, television... they all need a certain percentage of space devoted to advertising in order to survive. The hope is that online media will be effective enough to profit more from less ad space, but we'll have to wait and see.

>>dont have to go off-page... but I could do that anway...

True, but the ads have already been loaded, plus they can present a focused mini-site rather than dropping people at the home page of a labyrinth.

>>these ads will be ignored

New sizes and formats are not going to overcome poor targeting, but they might take better advantage of good targeting.

>>Plus they will make me want to go to sites which use them less.

But will these other sites be able to survive? More to the point, will they be able to survive while maintaining their editorial integrity? Sites will be forced to make elegant compromises.

>>When will we wake up that the problem with banner ads is not that they are too small, now that they dont open in a new window, nor that they are not interactive or "rich" enough? I go to the Internet for information, not ads.

Interactive formats might unlock the info potential of adverts while addressing the publisher's editorial concerns and the advertiser's brand concerns. Look at simple search boxes, whether they are for Web pages, specialized services, or even products. Few page items possess more "mouse gravity" than (real) form elements, and there is no need to disguise who is powering a search box. How else can advertisers effectively use the new tools? We'll find out soon enough.

>>Now if I see a service or product advertised on-line which is wholly relevant to the page, and which is integrated in the copy or shows the product in use on the page, THEN I will click.

I like relevancy, too, but integration into the copy is a slippery slope. Personally, I'm more leery of an affiliate link in the copy than a skyscraper ad on the side of the page. Maybe I'm just funny like that.

I agree that ads showing products in action will be a great use of animation, and they won't have to masquerade as editorial content, either.

>>It's the poor targeting and context that is the problem, not the ad itself.

merchants/offers X targeting X formats/creative = success/failure

Currently, all three elements are sub-optimal in the online environment. Online advertising needs a greater breadth and depth of advertisers, better targeting, and more effective formats. It is a chicken/egg problem. Plenty of targeting options exist, but you need a diverse base of advertisers to make full use of them. What's going to bring about more advertisers? Better means of communicating with their audience might be a start.

How stupid do they really think we are?

I'd hate to generalize. Some advertisers give me credit for having a brain, yet others feel the need to club me over the head with blinking banners. (I'm rooting for the former to be around long-term.)

>> The internet advertising conglomerate's last gasp for sure...

Sure, there will be a continued shift on the permission/interruption continuum towards permission/pull (opt-in email, SEO) at the expense of interruption/push advertising, but it might be more evolution than revolution.

None of this is to say that the advertising outlook is great or that every publisher or advertiser will be successful in the future. Far from it. However, as a long-time Web surfer/sufferer, I am shedding a lot of banner baggage (and Flash baggage) in a short period of time. Your mileage may vary. -S

chiyo

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 288 posted 12:41 pm on May 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

thanks fo the great post Sean. It made me think too, and understand what you are saying. Things may be happening behind the scenes on improving targeting, but the biggest publicity now is on the "bigger ads". Hopefully they will improve targeting too.

Short disclaimer. We use a sponsorship system on our sites, just a few sponsors for whom we serve the ads from our own server, and custom design them. We dont use the third party model, so I am probably not as aware of the issues as others. I guess my view was from a general user's point of view, rather than a site owner.

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