I said it before, but ads/commercials don’t work with me — no matter how expensive they were to make, or how clever subliminal messages they use. I never watch commercials on TV apart to check their filmmaking aspect (professional curiosity), and I never click on web ads (I want to help out sites, but I don’t seem to find any ad of interest).
In short, I never buy shiz that I don’t have to buy. End of story.
When a few months ago the Gawker sites changed their site design to a “tablet-style app” look, I found that their ads were getting in the way of the otherwise ingenious web site design. They would have big blocks of ads, but their in-article videos or images were too small. Made no freaking sense.
Also, when I click to some youtube link from Reddit and there’s a 30 second ad in there, I close down the tab immediately before reaching the video. And going through Hulu’s 2-3 commercials before an episode starts, is also an exercise in patience. Not because I don’t want to support all the companies involved, but because I don’t care about these products, and I don’t want to spend so much time watching ads. If I need a specific product, I do my research, I read reviews, and then I make an educated purchase.
The way things have been so far, I have to give up minutes of my life for things I don’t care about. Neither myself, or the ad owner gains anything out of it. Even the site owner, who gets paid to show ads, loses in the long run, after viewers get pissed off eventually having to endure ads.
So I’ve thought about the problem, and I think that what would work for me (for both news sites and video sites), is 3-to-5 seconds 16:9 high-res ads (in semi or full-screen). I need these ads to be infomercially-designed. For example, if that’s an ad about DELL’s new laptop, I want to see a quick 360 view of the laptop, some basic specs along with what takes this product apart compared to its competition, and a link to the product or a review online (that would open in a new tab). If it’s an ad about a less distinct product, let us know what the product does, and graphically show us what its uses are. After that, I want this ad GONE from my screen. I DO NOT want to have to click “skip this ad” to go and read an article (like on Salon.com) or view the video. The ad must automatically go away from full screen and diminish itself into a very small graphic (no bigger than 64×64), or a simple text link. The rest of the web page must contain no other ads. Not even these huge Facebook boxes (self-ads) that Gawker uses asking you to be a member of their Facebook group. The web design must be lean, mean, and clean.
Basically, the only ads that would work for me, are “awareness” no-frills, no-fat ads. Quickly show me:
1. What is your product.
2. How can it be used (if relevant).
3. What sets it apart from its competition.
If I care about such a *family of products* then I will research about many of them by myself, and I will remember to check out your specific product too. I don’t need 30 second ads, I don’t need to be convinced (I won’t, so don’t waste your 5 seconds), I don’t need ads that permanently sit within a news article polluting it, and I definitely don’t need ads that make the web site’s design look like ass.