Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Interruption Model Not Dead

The great thing about the future was it was supposed to involve brands seducing people into spending time with them, rather than interrupting whatever they were doing to shove an ad down their throat.

And the internet was supposed to be a big part of that future.

But is it?

The static ad that interrupts your reading of a news story, like this one, is standard now. It's far more 'interruptive' than bad old magazine advertising.

Then there's the full-page ad that gets in between you and the website you want to visit. Thanks Northampton Town FC.

And don't get me started on pop-ups. How do they know to pop up in a position that covers the very words you were trying to read? No newspaper ad ever did that. It wouldn't be allowed!

(I wish I had the example of the most annoyingly interruptive online ad I ever saw. I was looking at a baseball website when an animated cartoon character representing some insurance company wandered on, hit a ball 'right at me' that 'shattered the glass' so I couldn't read a single word on the whole screen, until I'd found that ever-elusive 'close' button).

And it's not just me that finds all this increasingly irritating. A survey by Burst Media featured in AdRants today finds that "three quarters (77.5%) of respondents say advertisements in online video are intrusive and nearly two-thirds (62.2%) say advertisements in video content disrupts their web surfing experience."

The new model is fast becoming the old model. And that's not good.

UPDATE. To the person who accused me of "being such an above-the-line creative", of course there is loads of great stuff being done for brands on the web. And maybe the interruptive stuff is just a very small part of what's being done. But its effect is still, as the survey shows, increasingly disruptive.


Anonymous said...

I think what you've highlighted isn't a new model at all, but the old model of interruption applied to new technology. None of the examples you mention make any attempt to engage with anyone.

They just interrupt and as you so rightly say, do it in a much more disruptive way than in tradional media.

I genuniely believe that the interruption model is dying, but before it does, unimaginative agencies and clients will still hang onto the old ways out of fear and habit

Anonymous said...

Such ads are created to grab eyeball time, but so long as websites, blogs, video sites etc. are free to the end-user, then this form of advertising will continue. There are too many players vying for relatively little eyeball time.
Even the detested spam emails can pay out, despite their infinitesimally small conversion rates.

(BTW the Northampton link doesn't work)

Scamp said...

I fixed the Northampton Town link. Enjoy the ad!

Seems we all agree that, sadly, interruption still works.

And for as long as something works, it will get used.

Anonymous said...

Well the truth is interruption online doesn't really work either.

Click rates on those types of ads have been in decline for years. But the cost to run these ads is pretty low so people will keep at it because it is familiar. After all it is the old model applied directly to new-ish media.

The trouble (as in that old media world) is that no one really has a viable alternative beyond trying to change the metrics.

(disclaimer: clicks are, I know, a most unfashionable measure but they are still a barometer of overall performance)

Scamp said...

Thanks Sean, interesting stuff.

Willoughby said...

Why is Viagra the spammers product of choice? Any ideas?

Or is that just me?

By the way, you're tagged (this should be a link to my site to explain, but I'm afraid I don't know how).

Anonymous said...

To sean's point, I'm wondering if it has to be clicked to be effective though. Perhaps the initial interruption is enough to score a brand impression, whether you click through or not.

That may not work enough for what the brand intended if for example, they are trying to drive traffic to their site/product, but it did do it's job to get your attention, (negatively or postively.

And that just may be enough to at least build brand awarenss and steal some 'mind share’ as the kids say.