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Digital Adverts Ruined My Life (Well, Kind Of)

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The irritating issue of pop-ups & website takeovers is not exactly a new one. But neither is it changing particularly quickly either.  You’d think with all the new technological developments at today’s saavy marketeers disposal we’d have reached some sort of customer experience nirvana by now. Instead we’ve just added even louder bells and whistles until we’re screaming for the user’s attention like Brian Blessed and the the Go Compare guy sharing a joke. This doesn’t solve the problem of Banner Blindness though. We’re not wearing customers down until they can’t resist buying anymore. People weren’t sitting there thinking, “if only that banner ad had evolved to fill my entire browser, THEN I’d know they cared enough to give their product a shot.”

Stopping people from doing what they wanted to do doesn’t endear you to them. If anything both the advertiser and the site lose out.  If I’m going to have to sit through your difficult to close full-page “fully interactive” ad, I’m not going to be in a rush to repeat the experience by coming back again.

Fundamentally the issue is when you advertise on TV, you don’t miss a programme when an advert starts.  The programme pauses and you’ll probably nip to the loo or make yourself a cup of tea (or coffee, hey I don’t judge). When you’re visiting a site, however, this is exactly what’s happening. I’ve barely had a chance to read more than a couple of words and up pops that ridiculous advert flashing and blinking at me like an epileptic arcade machine at a rave AND GETTING IN THE WAY OF THE THING I’M TRYING TO READ.

It can be an even worse experience on mobile devices. Blanket popovers both whilst mobile browsing (For the last time I don’t want to download your free sister app!) and in free apps (it’s not as good as the site…) pounce on your retinas with all the grace of a drunken cat. And can you hit the tiny nano-size ‘X’ to close them without ‘activating’ the ad? Can you hell.  Who’d have thought that when we got such a small screen that rather than creating simple, intuitive and unique advertising experiences, we’d create something worse than web browser pop-ups?

If I was reading *insert your own favourite book in here* I don’t expect to have to stop every 3 pages to tear an ad off from in front of the page I’m trying to read. You want to monetise your site, fine, just don’t do it by ruining my experience. Go make a native ad or build a crappy paywall or something.

 

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