February 2nd, 2006
We’ve spent a lot of time researching what types of online advertisements actually work. Not surprisingly, we’ve found a lot of evidence to suggest that users ignore featured advertisements when they first arrive on a site. I recently posted about how featured advertisements on the home page typically fail. Why? Because the advertisements take users away from the task they’re trying to accomplish. The problem is that the ads are a disruption.
Advertising is all about disruption. TV ads disrupt users from the content. Billboard signs can disrupt people from focusing on driving. Online ads function similarly — they disrupt users from the content they’re looking for.
That’s why it’s always a surprise when I encounter online advertisements that actually work effectively. This happened to me today on Rotten Tomatoes, a site where users can find a summary of the movie reviews from top film critics.
When users arrive, Rotten Tomatoes often disrupts them with ads even before they’ve had a chance to enter the site. When I visited today, I was exposed to an ad for the popular movie, Grizzly Man.
The ad disrupted me from looking for the content I came for — the reviews for George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck (a movie I really want to see.) But I wasn’t annoyed or frustrated. The ad supplied me with information I am actually interested in: Grizzly Man is showing on the Discovery Channel tomorrow night. I now have my TiVo all set up to record the movie.
We often remind our clients that users don’t want to be disrupted from their tasks. But disruption can actually work sometimes. Have you seen any effective online ads recently? How did the site get you to pay attention to the ad? Was the disruption acceptable?Tweet