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AM: Full-screen ads thread

Subject:     AM: Full-screen ads thread
From:     Francis Costello <>
Date:     Mon, 01 Jun 1998 10:13:56 -0400

Ann's post has spurred all sorts of responses, and here is my two cents:

I won't commment on this company, which certainly seems unimpressive to
non-exisitent, but I would also like to offer a slightly different point of
view on the concept.

This type of advertising often called "interstisials" (spelling ?) is
increasing on the web, because a certain set of advertisers demand it.
Some game oriented sites actually started experimenting with these ads well
over a year ago with reasonable success.  The key (as someone pointed out)
is obviously to provide some content that lives beyond beyond the
interuption that your particular user group values.

Whether uninteruptable 30 second real-video ads over a cable modem are the
answer or not, the industry needs to find a way to get more brand oriented
advertisers to shift a portion of their budgets online to survive.
Expecting a Coke or Nike ad to produce all its value through click-through
to the corporate site is unreasonable - and its what many agencies and
advertisers are doing now.  Imagine if every Coke ad carried an 800 number
on TV and asked you to call in and make an order for a six pack or ask them
to send you a brochure.  Now imagine if the agency rated the success of
that ad by how many responses the ad generated vs. the cost of the media
buy.  What do you think would happen?  I would venture to guess that there
would no longer be free broadcast TV stations...

I believe there are two major reasons that advertisers and publishers (and
the agencies in-between) need to look at alternatives like this, and should
as good business: 

1) if you have ever sat across from a big advertisers and tried to sell
them online advertising you know how the current metrics and approaches
will not support the industry, some brand building has to work - it may be
banners, may be audio ads, may be intersticials, may be something we
haven't thought of yet.  Icons, like those suggested by Jim are used in
some places, but the customers for the ads (agencies and advertisers) have
thus far rejected them as providing branding value 
2) in the consumer publishing part of the industry - where we focus on mass
audiences, we can't care how we might offend hard-core early adopters like
Jim (generalizing a bit here, sorry Jim).  Those of us who have been online
for years and spend hours a day on the web doing our jobs are not who these
ads are for, its the other 97% of the population who are coming online and
use entertainment or information web sites as leisure/ personal media

I don't know if these types of ads will be a winner, or how intrusive they
will be - for instance allowing the user to interupt the ad, or only
showing them on high-bandwidth connections.  What I do know is that if they
bring the brand advertisers further into the online ad market publishers
will find a way to implement them that doesn't alienate most of the audience.

Francis Costello
Smip Interactive, Inc.		v 703.442.5210 x230		f 703.442.5205	
Comics, advice, horoscopes and opinion - all the best in online

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