By John Broadbent
Welcome to another episode of Make Your Mark Monday. Today we’re talking about interactive advertising and, specifically, the problems associated with “push” advertising. When you’re not really drawing people in through research or pay-per-click (the traditional form of pay-per-click), but maybe you’re pushing banner ads or interactive ads – specifically, I’d like to talk about interactive advertisements, and why some of these in the past have really failed.
Websites are considered interactive advertisements because people, they interact with them, and they go through the website in order to research certain things, but a lot of the interactive advertisements that you see, that people usually refer to as “interactive advertisements,” there are a few problems associated with those. And one of the biggest problems is that they really interrupt what it is that you wanted to do.
You might want to drive around the whatever car on the screen (as they let you do maybe in a vehicle interactive advertisement), but it’s getting in the way of whatever it is that you wanted to be there for in the first place. We’ll talk about how to overcome that here in a minute.
A lot of times, again, they’re irrelevant. And I’ve talked about this in previous videos, where you can do a lot with the content on your website to make sure that you’re only showing relevant ads to your users.
Another one is they’re really untimely: The ads aren’t showing up when – during a phase in the user’s life when that ad is really going to make the biggest impact on them. They’re really untrackable. We have no idea how many people we’re showing this ad to that it’s irrelevant for, and so we don’t know how much fat there really really is.
And then the last one is that it’s kind of “Advertainment Impossible.” With a lot of brands, they realize that, “Gosh, most of the really cool ads are the ads that we see in the Super Bowl [or] that always show up in adweek – they’re entertaining. A lot of them.” And one of the biggest problems with advertising is, how do we create a really effective ad if we’ve got a serious market or a serious target customer, and our ad – you know – our product doesn’t really lend itself to an entertaining type of an ad?
So a few things that we have noticed, a couple of very short guiding principles here for advertisements: The great interactive ads, they spark interest. They get people to that stage where they just want to ask more questions, like, “Wait a minute, how does it ‘this’?” And then the interactive ad can actually answer those questions for them. It becomes a research medium. It induces research. It helps the consumer understand the product better, and kind of goes beyond that, and, yes, we can spark the interest through entertainment, or an “advertainment,” as we’ve started to hear quite a bit, but really, once again, it induces the research on the consumer’s side.
And then, the big part is, it fosters freedom. A couple things that we saw here – interruptions, irrelevant, untimely – these are the advertising problems, but all of these problems right here, they take away freedom from the consumer, and consumers really, really want that freedom. they want the freedom to be able to see an advertisement and do something with it: Get it off the plate, or they want to consume what they came to the website, or to the television, or whatever, to consume. And if they don’t have that choice, then really advertisement gets in the way of them being able to have the freedom that they want.
So fantastic interactive ads will really grasp these things. They’ll give more freedom. They’ll go through and allow the user to do some of these things that they would like to be doing at this moment, but still be an effective medium, perhaps in the future.
So on Wednesday, we’ll talk a little bit more about some of the ideas to take an interactive ad idea and to turn it into something that really could grant the freedom that a consumer wants, and also a couple of points on how to really spark creativity and foster that research that your consumers are going to be able to do to really be sold on the product.
Thanks again for tuning in.