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Online Ads Become The Entertainment

 9:35 am on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

For generations, advertising interrupted the entertainment that Americans wanted to read, hear or watch. Now, in a turnabout, advertising is increasingly being presented as entertainment and surprisingly, the idea of all ads, all the time, is gaining some favor.

One reason is the proliferation of broadband Internet connections, which make it easier for computer users to watch or download video clips. That is enabling media companies, agencies and advertisers to create Web sites devoted to commercials and other forms of advertising for amusement, rather than hard-core huckstering.

Now, the Clicking Is to Watch the Ads, Not Skip Them [nytimes.com]

An interesting idea I'll have to consider.



 9:41 am on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

In many ways this is the Holy Grail for adverters - when their ad's are considered to be as entertaining, or actually more entertaining, than the channel that carries them.

We've all seem this on TV, where the ad's are recalled more than the programmes themselves, and I applaud those online advertisers (and their agencies) who have acheived this - provided of course the product, service etc. can be recalled as readily as the ad creative itself!


 11:29 am on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

We've been running a site dedicated to UK TV commercials - or telly ads, to use the British colloquialism - for the past year (nearly), and it's certainly proved popular with visitors. Interestingly, it allows ads to be seen outside their intended marketplace too. For instance, our most popular commercial at the moment is for a British breakfast cereal, which is shown being 'knitted by Nanas (grandmothers)' in a huge factory. It's been talked about on American knitting forums, so lots of knitting fans in the USA are now aware of this UK brand.


 12:32 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I consider this more an indictment of modern, content-free "entertainment" than anything else.

"Entertainment" has sunk into a morass of mediocrity that is getting deeper, stickier and smellier than anyone ever could have imagined.

All the time, the infrastructure for delivery and production of said "entertainment" has become incredibly efficient and high-quality. One of my favorite effects is the "two people sitting next to each other" effect on the radio, when they are actually two thousand miles apart. When this first started getting used, my jaw dropped. I was used to scratchy and unreliable satellite links.

This is like spending months perfecting a massive Drupal CMS, with all sorts of kewl bells and whistles, for your dachsund's blog.


 2:27 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't click on news videos, let alone video ads! They don't work half the time. Why bother?

The only videos I click on are YouTube videos. At least I know they will work, and there's not typically the annoying "buffering" for several seconds. (I know YouTube buffers, but it doesn't seem as annoying as some of the news sites, etc.)


 8:18 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

The beautiful part about posting videos on the net is when they get embedded all over the net. If you list your website name, you get a bunch of back links to your site as well.



 4:04 pm on Aug 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

-- In many ways this is the Holy Grail for adverters - when their ad's are considered to be as entertaining, or actually more entertaining, than the channel that carries them.--

During the 1980s, there was a famous and long-running television ad campaign for Nescafe instant coffee in the UK, which involved a pair of yuppie neighbours flirting with each other. It became so popular that eventually Nescafe literally advertised the adverts: they would take out full page advertisements in national newspapers saying that the new Nescafe commercial would be on the television at 8pm that night.

I don't think we're ever going back to that sort of thing. :-)

PS: I think they tried to repeat this campaign in America for Taster's Choice coffee, using the same actors but putting on American accents. I don't know how well it did over there though.


 4:48 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

"All ads all the time"

This has been done. What do you think MTV started as. Music videos - Ads for musicians.


 5:02 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

For advertisers, it's great news. For content makers, it's not so good, in some respects. Firstly, the bad part is that the content may be weak, and thereby the ads will be the entertainment. Even with good content the ads can still entertain. It's when it's the ads alone that become the entertainment, that's not good news.

OTOH, more eyeballs on the ads has got to be good for the carrier (publisher/broadcaster/site owner) and the advertiser.

With the massive dilution of audiences (across all spectrums), advertsers and program/content creators have to work harder to earn their income.

The key remains in content quality, whether they are written articles, video articles, TV ads, etc.


 5:13 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

This stuff may be relevant [useit.com].

It's Jakob Nielsen's latest Alertbox blast. Usually, I never even follow these, but this one piqued my interest.

Basically, mixing ads into content works.


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