Cafe Witness

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Advertisers Keep Coming SO CLOSE...

... and yet they still haven't found a way to please me.

Or you.

Robert Scoble's post about Nexidia is right: hypercontextual ads in tandem with video content are a great step in the right direction... if you're already looking for THAT information.

For example, If I'm watching a clip about drywall, odds are, I'd love to see an ad for a Home Depot sale. That's the logic that powers TV ad sales, and that's the logic that can now be applied to the web world.

But what about LOST? How many ads for island getaways, Swiss army knives or travel insurance do you see served up by ABC?

So, by comparison, what about Ask a Ninja? Or Dutch West? Or STBD?

What I Want

Is there ever a time in your life when you don't need information about something?

Right now, off the top of your head, you can probably think of 5 things you need a hand with. Maybe you're planning a summer vacation. Maybe you need to buy an anniversary gift. Maybe your old college roommate just asked if you could somehow smuggle a case of Pennsylvania beer to his Houston wedding.

We, as humans, are forever searching for MORE information.

So, if I must watch an ad in order to see a video for free, can't I tell the ad server what I'm actually interested in learning about?

It's not good enough for Google to track my click habits and tell me what my profile is, because all that tells me is who I've BEEN; it doesn't tell me who I AM, who I'm GOING to be or -- most importantly -- who I WANT to be.

Google, please stop thinking you're smarter than me. Instead, all you have to do is ask me: "What do YOU want to learn about today?"

If I could actually obtain useful information THAT I REQUESTED every time I stopped to watch an episode of Tiki Bar TV -- and, hey, it might be about tax preparation, not alcohol or minidresses -- would I not be even more inclined to sit through commercials?

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3 Comments:

  • I'd be willing to bet that if you offered up a menu of 3 sponsors at the beginning of the video and asked people to choose which ad they'd like to see, you'd have an amazing number of people stick around for a post-roll ad.

    By Blogger Christopher, at 5:19 AM  

  • They've had something like that for years. It's the Google Search ad unit. Sadly it pays poorly and attracts few clicks in most people's experience.

    Do you have a vision for something that goes beyond that? I would be all over that in a new york minute.

    By Anonymous Kevin Kennedy-Spaien, at 5:32 AM  

  • Justin - great idea. We talk so much about giving the user control over their content and delivery - why not over their advertising?

    I can see ad companies resisting this though. Alas - they don't like to give up control.

    By Blogger Joel Mark Witt, at 3:58 PM  

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