Thursday, April 10, 2008

Does Anyone Actually Read Online Advertisements?

We see them all the time when we surf the web. Those banner advertisements that try and hook us with cute cartoon animals, sexy models, and larger than life font sizes.

They often flash boldly “Click Me” or “Click Here” but does anyone actually ever do?

In our information soaked world, we are literally bombarded by advertisements everywhere we look. On busses and their shelters, on billboards, on television, the radio and on just about every web page – we see nothing but ads.

There are even ads now in many bathroom stalls. So, while you are taking a moment to do some very personal business, you can carefully consider whether or not you want to purchase a new cell phone, buy a car, or rent that new movie.

I think we’ve become so accustom to seeing advertisements wherever we look, that we more often than not, simply tune most of them out. There are the occasional ones which slip past the radar, but for the most part we ignore the marketed world around us.

Rarely do I click on any of the advertisements at the top of web pages – yet I see them every day when I check the latest headlines, check different email accounts, or simply do a search for something or other.

I think, in order for an online banner ad to really catch my interest, I’d have to receive an electric shock just as the words zoomed out.

Surely I can’t be alone – there must be others unaffected by the constant sales pitches, marketing slogans, and gimmicks attacking us wherever we go.

And make no mistake about it – we are under attack.

Everything is up for sale these days. I remember a time when the Internet – back in the day, it was referred to by it’s true name – The World Wide Web – was free. There were no ads demanding to be clicked.

You just typed in the web address you wanted to go to, and within seconds, you’d be taken there. No ads, none of those annoying pop-ups, pop-unders, or my all time hated – the “Your X content will load after this commercial.”

Those are pure torture, used most often on video feeds (like MSN’s most watched videos). You see a headline you want to watch, and immediately after clicking it, a video loads.

But it isn’t the video you wanted, it is an advertisement – with a small disclaimer saying your selected video will appear after the commercial. They even have a little button you can click to “skip” the ad – but these buttons never work. I know – I’ve tried.

Then there are those ads that the second the web page loads, pop-up in front of you. You’re only cure to these is to click the “close” button or the “X” in the corner. Both methods work, but still, you are slightly pissed by the sudden pop-up in the first place.

I miss the days of old, where the Internet was free. But I suppose, everything costs something and someone has to pay for it. So eventually, the free-for-all Internet would be bought out by the corporate world and sold to the highest bidders.

To bad the highest bidders don’t know how to really market their services and products to us web-savvy surfers that don’t click those ads. Because those ads just waste everyone’s time.

1 comment:

  1. :) Until this post, I hadn't noticed that there are ads on the side of your blog. w00t.