Online advertising isn’t the problem. Crappy advertising is the problem.

30 second Pre-roll ads before 45 second video clips.  Pop-Under ads.   Facebook ads for impotence pills.  Car ads on biking websites. Unfortunate combinations of ad and content due to poor targeting.

There’s no excuse for this anymore.

Dozens of pop-up ads covering a desktop.
Image via Wikipedia

There is so much information out there about me.  Use it to create a unique experience connecting your product or service to something you already know I’m interested in, in a way that leads me to see your product as useful to me.

There’s no reason connecting a sponsorship to an online experience should feel like punishment or homework. At this point, what possible reason could a company have for slapping the same old irrelevant creative in front of users who have a choice of literally hundreds of millions of content consumption opportunities?

Is it laziness? Is it ignorance of the data involved?

I mean, I know breaking habits is hard, and corporate inertia is difficult.  But at least TRY, no?

Huge companies like Intel are getting on the bandwagon, with their “Sponsors of Tomorrow” campaign, which is a brilliant use of careful targeting (Hulu specifically Big Bang Theory, TEDTalks, etc), a non-intrusive and clever campaign, and a full website focused on Intel’s innovation and how it makes my life better.

Every company out there has the opportunity to do what Intel is doing, value-wise. Turning a company-to-customer transaction that is typically a pain point (I suffer through a commercial and in exchange the content I’m interested in gets funded) and turn it into a useful and valuable experience for me that leads me to try your product or service, or tell my friends, or anything other than general annoyance.

When you’re ready, there are plenty of us that would be happy to help figure out a worthwhile strategy (including my employer).

Until then, expect the (already multi-million-dollar) market for ad blockers to continue to grow.  And for me to ignore your message whenever possible, and have my overall impression of your brand continue to decline.

Anyone else?  Are there other examples of companies doing it well?

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