Loud Advertising (or “How to make your customers hate you”)

Watching TV has become painful over the past couple of years. No, not the programming (which seems to have hit an all time quality level), but rather the volume of the advertising. When going to a commercial break we dive for the remote, racing to get the volume down while bracing for impact. I guess as the number of skipping advertising has gone up, advertisers have decided to make up for the shortfall in performance by assaulting the people who are watching the ads. The result? An advertising death spiral, where *more* people leave the are I think many folks are going to the Internet and downloading

The same is true for Internet advertising. My friends over at the New York Timeswho are making money hand over fistare doing the same thing as obnoxious loud advertisers with their blocking ads, interstitials, and popups. Come one, you guys are the New York Times, you don’t need to resort to this assault on the readers. Frankly, I’d like to pay for an advertising free New York Times at his point. The interstitials I really don’t mind, in fact I kind of like them. However, when combining with blocking ads (the ones that drape down over half the page and then make you hit the close) and popup ads its just brutal.

Frankly, I think the future of advertising is making better ads. On our blogs we’re doing adverposts… advertising in blog post fashion. They are clearly labeled with a different font, in a box, indented, with a background color, and with the words advertisement on the top and bottom (I’m a stickler for disclosure as you know). Despite this they are read by readers and clicked on 5x more then banner advertisements? Why? One, they are not screaming at the readers like the TV ads and the New York Times’ advertisements, and second they are informative. Information is sexy and the more info and links advertisements give the more they draw people in (sort of like a really interesting and intelligent person at a dinner party).

Someone told me one of the best ways to get people to quiet down and listen to you was to talk in a very low voice that’s my advice to advertisers: speak softly and carry a great message.

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