Close Showreel

Digital Adverts Ruined My Life (Well, Kind Of)




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.


I Just Shipped My Pants! – Kmart’s ad goes viral


That’s SHIPPED my pants people, SHIPPED.

US giant Kmart’s latest online ad ‘I just Shipped My Pants’ has gone viral with over 12.5 million hits in 8 days.  And no wonder.  The ad is hilarious, well executed and ever so slightly shocking.

Buoyed by their success and some fantastic You Tube comments such as;

“Good job advertising this Kmart. You’re back in the game.”


“This is a great commercial, it makes me like Kmart again!”

Kmart is now planning to reach an even wider audience by launching the ad on TV.  But could the very thing that’s made it popular, it’s funny and irreverent styling, actual end up polarising Kmart’s customer base?

It’s certainly not a strategy without risk and we’ll be eagerly waiting to see what Middle America makes of it all.  And of course whether it has the desired effect of getting Kmart’s tills ringing.

What’s the Future for In-App Marketing?


How much?!?

There is general rumbling against in app purchasing, especially in games marketed at children. Parents are happy to download a free game for little Timothy to play but not so happy when the credit card bill, feature charges for bliss bombs, unicorn hats or whatever lands on the doormat.  As this news story shows the Micro payment model isn’t always that micro.

And on paper it is kind of an odd premise.  You pay real money for a series of 1s and 0s that can only exist within the confines game.  Well I suspect that it won’t be too long before gamemakers, marketeers and brands put their heads together to come up with a whole new way of selling.

Imagine what would happen if in-game money actually bought you a real, tangible thing. What if when you bought a product in a game it actually turned up on your doorstep the very next day? Or in the not too distant future you got the downloadable blueprints for your 3d printer?

In a game like Sims Freeplay it would mean that whenever your online character bought something, say a magazine, you’d actually get a copy of that magazine delivered to your real home or be able to download it as a digital copy. And because it was bought through the game all your friends would see it as a personal recommendation and be more likely to buy a copy too.  This type of exposure could also be wonderful for emerging artists and talent. If celebrity avatars suddenly started wearing your designer clothes, or displaying your art in their homes it wouldn’t be long before they hit the mainstream.

With Tap style games and apps that track your progress there are obvious links to products and services.  If you’re trying to get healthy for example then having an app which allows you to buy a subscription to a local gym would make real sense.  Having to check-in 5 times to unlock your Buff Badge and upload all you times/reps for the Feel the Burn award might just be all the encouragement you need.

As with all new forms of product placement and advertisement this model opens up a whole can of worms when it comes to ethical issues.  Whereas buying a day pass to a zoo in-game might be acceptable, receiving a gun in the post certainly wouldn’t be.  Why not leave us a comment below with your thoughts?

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