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Re: Salon.com and taller ads

From: Michael Martinez <Michael_at_xenite.org>
Date: Thu 29 Mar 2001 10:11:02 -0600

STEFANIE NELSON <stef_at_sumus.com> WROTE:

[Salon's decision is controversial, but some of us
think it's wrong]

>I can't disagree more. The content brings the people,
>but if they can't see the ad, what good is it to the
>advertiser? And if the advertiser isn't happy, there's
>no money for the content. No content, no site!!

Show me the advertiser who is happy advertising to no
one. Salon's decision seems more desperate than smart.
I don't think it's possible to do anything smart in
online advertising these days. We're all grasping for
inspiration and it's not coming.

Anyone who has followed the usability studies published
by Jacob Nielsen and other UIE experts knows that surfers
do everything possible to get away from ads. Making the
ads more intrusive and annoying is only giving the
surfers greater reason to avoid a Web site completely.

Salon has already had to cut staff. They are not
threatening to engulf the Web with content. And if the
ads aren't relevant to the content anyway,
the advertisers will more-than-likely be disappointed.

Web sites are not magazines. You're not selling the
whole kit-and-kaboodle to the surfer. They have their
bookmarked sites and they can leave you at any time. If
the Web pages just look like so much advertising, there
is no reason for the surfers to stay. If they want to
browse a catalogue, they know they can go directly to one
 of the major retail sites and just look at
the products without the ads.

Larger ad sizes are doomed to failure because they are a
move of desperation. Looking desperate doesn't sell.
Surfers know they have plenty of choices.

A magazine-style marketing model has little chance of
succeeding on the Web. Unless you can get people to
download the entire Web site as a ZIP file and browse
it at their convenience on their computers, you are not
going to be able to guarantee distribution of advertising.
And people might look at ads in a magazine while they are
waiting for a haircut, but they aren't inclined to do so
while they are surfing the Web.

I noticed that Realmedia is now prepending ads to movie
trailers, just like videotapes come with ads up front.
That may be the only way you can go with intrusive ads:
multimedia content is something people are willing to
wait for. After they spend minutes or hours downloading
something, they aren't likely to give it up just because
there is a stupid basketball ad at the beginning. Heck,
it might even impress them enough to achieve some of
that elusive "branding" no two people seem to agree about.


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Received on Thu Mar 29 2001 - 10:11:02 CST


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