The only nice part about banging your head against a brick wall is when you stop.
However, this article in AdWeek suggests that news brands would prefer to ignore such common sense.
Apparently, a number of high-profile news sites, including the WSJ and Reuters, have signed up to trial more intrusive advertising.
The article defines this new format as:
“a new initiative that plops commercials in front of users as they arrive at Web sites, blocking the content”
It goes on to note that:
“[Readers] will have the option to close the ads after 10 seconds.“
After 10 seconds?
Who’s going to wait that long?
This is madness.
AdWeek’s sub-headline sums up the muddled thinking that seems to be dragging these brands under:
The moves are necessary because the current ad system on the Web does not work for content sites
Correct; the current system doesn’t work.
But this kind of approach is only going to make that system worse.
Part of the problem is that news brands seem to be getting some very dubious advice:
“It theoretically makes a lot of sense,” said Jason Klein, co-CEO of Special Ops. “It’s a similar type of user-interruption experience as a commercial in the middle of a TV show.”
Exactly which part ‘makes a lot of sense’?
News brands are struggling; the last thing they want to do is interrupt their readers and risk losing them.
Advertisers only go where they can find an audience.
If the new formats drive people away, they’re counterproductive; any gains in revenue per ad will be offset by a fall in total impressions.
But this line takes the biscuit:
“‘Our biggest challenge is we haven’t been able to agree on new types of advertising that’s [sic] valued by brand marketers,’ he said.”
May I suggest that this is not your biggest challenge?
Rather, your biggest challenge is to find a way to deliver the benefits your customers are looking for, in a way that generates profit for you.
I’ll reiterate my point from earlier in the week: news brands needs a radically new revenue model, not a butchered reworking of the old one.