Friday, December 12, 2008

Online Advertisements

We live in a world where everything is rushed. Everyone wants everything now and they do not want to wait. There are more things that we want to do, more shows or music videos that we want to see, more live bands and adventures that we want to experience. Somewhere in between the hustle and bustle of this world, we occasionally take a nap, read a book, or hop onto a social network or any other interactive website in order to talk to friends or watch a video.

So, why is it that, knowing we live such busy lives, online businesses want to invade our down time and cram advertisements into our space. Log onto Myspace and you will sometimes see an advertisement that takes up the entire page before you reach your homepage. Download the widget and your entire page will be surrounded by an advertisement for JC Penny when you just want to check the weather. Now there’s an innovative tool where all you have to do is hover over a link and suddenly a preview pops up of a website. This can come in handy when you are at work and want to make sure a site is work friendly before clicking on it, but when you are on news sites where this type of activity can actually slow down the website (Foremski, 2005). For instance, I was on a website and was trying to scroll down. Well, when I scrolled down using the arrow keys, my mouse accidentally moved over an advertisement, which slowed my computer down while it tried to load the rollover advertisement. It could be my computer, but this is just one example of how advertisements are starting to find ways around the system.

In the old days—about a decade ago—most users would have to worry about neon banners flashing and alerting them that they won some fantasy prize or they would have to worry about having a screen flooded with six or seven pop-up items before they could view their site. Many businesses have used these types of advertisements in the past, but the question that everyone wonders about these advertisements is: Does this form of advertising really work? In terms of pop-up advertisements, they were tested against banner advertisements and were 50 percent more likely to be noticed in comparison to banners. However, this is both a gift and a curse since the study found that pop-up advertisements were considered 100 percent more intrusive into the viewer’s Internet activities and were looked unfavorably upon (Jackson, 2001). In terms of banner advertisements, there seems to be a more favorable view on this type of advertisement over pop-up advertisements. There are no blockers for banners, and they are easier to sneak onto a website and you cannot exit out of a banner like you can a pop-up advertisement. Overall, they are seen as less intrusive, but with the exception of the flashing banners they are fairly easy to overlook (Kamborj, 2008).

With these types of complaints from consumers that are sick and tired of seizure-inducing ads and a computer full of pop-ups, you would think that companies would relax their attempts at online advertising. Nope, instead the field of online advertising is boosting its attempts and the online advertising market should double to 18 percent within six years. With more than 52 percent of people spending more time online than watching television, marketers are evaluating this trend and are now seeking new ways of reaching the growing amount of online consumers (Online advertising ‘growing fast’, 2007). Now, I am not entirely against online advertisements, but I do believe that there should be a limit to how much annoyance they can cause. I do not mind banners about legitimate businesses, but banners that claim “You are the 1,000,000 customer! Pick up your free laptop now!” and then they either fail to mention the circumstances or place in small font that there are conditions that apply, this becomes quite an annoyance. Especially when they try to use this technique in order to get innocent people’s e-mail addresses so they can expand their spam count.

I do believe there needs to be a line that is drawn when it comes to online marketing. Some companies, such as Yahoo!, will allow companies to take over their website for the day such as Adidas. Depending on how the users relate to Adidas, this could either create a boost for both Adidas and Yahoo, or it could create a loss for either company. Users tend to be subjective, so a person looking for good athletic shoes or an Adidas fan might see the site and think, “I like those shoes!” or “That seems interesting, I’ll check them out,” and it may help business (Lee, 2007). On the other hand, you might have a Nike fan who looks at this site and becomes offended. It may not fully deter them from the site, but it could impact page views and whether or not they decide to use Yahoo’s other services.

I do believe in some forms of online advertising. After all, this type of media is still relatively new and contains a load of marketing potential. But I do want to ask all of you a question: Do you believe these new innovations in advertisements are going a bit too far? Would you rather be able to go to the sites you want to go to without worrying about rollover advertisements, having to click “skip this advertisement”, or waiting for the commercial to play before you can see the video?
Foremski, T. (2005, December 6). The new media needs new types of innovation—not more banner ads. SiliconValleyWatcher. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from

Jackson, J. (2001, July 2). While pop-up advertisements are more likely to be noticed, consumers tend to think poorly of the advertisers. Does the extra visibility pay off? Retrieved December 12, 2008, from

Kamborj, D. (2008, October 10). Effectiveness of a banner advertising. Article Base. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from

Lee, S. (2007, June 26). Human-to-human design. A List Apart. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from

Online advertising ‘growing fast’. BBC News. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from

1 comment:

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