Monday, September 29, 2008

Ads for Israel

I live in Israel. What a wonderful country - full of spirit, spirituality and beauty. Of course I'd want others to know about it. Ads4Israel does just that, through ads, for example:

There must be a lot of non-profit ad campaigns out there for things you believe in. Know some?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Green Ads

I dig the world. I like nature and lush green places. I think there is a lot we all could do, without much cost or effort, to give the world a bit more greenness.

It is for this reason that I, with pleasure and applause, make known some green advertising networks. Please make use of them! For example:
I also found these sites that list a bunch of Earth-friendly ads:
I also found this post talking about the effectiveness of green advertising. They state that over a third of consumers recall ads with 'green messaging'. At the same time, however, the study also shows that over a fifth of consumers doubt the real greenth of the claim of the ad.

On that note, I recommend this post for anyone concerned about people making false green ads, and or for the really concerned.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Social hack

Networks for online advertising have to take extreme caution to prevent fraud, such as to prevent a website owner from just repeatedly clicking on his own ads to increase income. Google, for instance, will instantly turn off ad income to any site it even suspects of fraud. It is for this reason that some blog advice pages recommend blog owners NEVER click on their own ads.

Google doesn't even care whether it is the owner or someone else doing the repeated clicking type of thing. As a result, this opens up the world of social hacking. It is possible to cut off someone's income by merely going to their site and clicking on the ads a bunch of times, or writing a simple script to do just that. Evil. Low-minded techno-economic warfare.

Know of any other social hacks? Let me know!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Context-insensitive ads

AdSense has a lot of cool aspects to it, such as openness to even the smallest blog and some amount of customizability. AdSense ads are context-sensitive, based on what Google knows about the page, and thus supposed to be relevant to the consumer visiting the page. However, context sensitivity is not enough to ensure the ads are appropriate.
Any completely automated system just follow rules. Consider the following ill-advised or just plain wrong ad placements:
  • Tummy flattening ads for a site on pregnancy
  • Snake ads on a Monty Python site
  • Gun sales on a site about the ten-most-wanted criminal watch
  • Similarly, babysitting services on a site about child porn or pedophilia
  • Coke ads on a page about plant life extinction ("Coke adds life", don't you know?)
That being said, I bet there's a lot of interesting, even appropriate, placements that the advertisers wouldn't have thought of that AdSense might. Can anybody think of some? Or have you seen a bad ad placement? Please let me know!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Consumer experience

Over the past 15 years or so, I have had a lot of experience thinking about user experience (UX or UE). In brief, experience engineering has to do with the user’s entire experience with the product: how it is perceived, how it is used, how it is adopted, adapted and abandoned. This blog is about the ad consumer experience, which merely means how the person consuming an ad (the 'user') relates to the ad - how they perceive it, how they figure it out, how they use it, and so on. The image to the left from Peter Morville gives one way of breaking down the field in the context of information architecture. There is a lot on the subject, such as these articles on Experience Design, Human Factors and Usability Engineering. Classics in this area also include the Nielsen Norman Group and the US government site on Usability.

But, does anybody know any sites dealing directly with the ad consumer experience? There are plenty of one-off articles, like this one, that are good but could stand some solid grounding in UX. There has to be more out there... any one?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cool Ads

As much as advergames can be fun, some advertising is just plain cool - consumer entertainment at it's best. Here are a few awesome ads - the kind you wish you had made.

I applaud the advertisers and ad directors for sharing their imagination.
Please send me more!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Advergames combine marketing with fun. The best advergames value the consumers, as well as the product being advertised.
"It's an amazing feat of game design, really, when you can make a commercially-supported game that respects its players - offering genuine invitations to play, and yet clearly inviting the player to think about the product or company sponsoring the whole experience." (Bernie DeKoven, First MajorFun Award for Best Advergame)
The appeal of advergames to advertisers is the extended attentive effort people willingly pay to the advertising. That is, they think about the advertised products more, and build a more positive association with the product.

There are also those ads called coupongames, which provide financial incentives to the players, typically in the form of discounts on products or services. For the consumer, it really pays to play. The downside of such incentives is that they are extrinsic rewards which can remove the consumer's attention from the game to the goal; from the product to a focus on the reward, and on winning.

A notable side effect is that such rewards actually make people stop playing. Once they have won, such as getting a $100 discount on new solar roofing, why would someone play again? The upside is that they have the coupon, which hooks them on the product, and makes them more likely to tell others about both the discount and the game.

For those interested, here are a few catalogs of advergames:
Found a good advergame or resource? Please let me know!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hello world

Advertising is a part of our life – annoying at times, indeed, but at times cool, fun and even funny.

This blog looks at advertising from the perspective of the consumer. I’ll give examples of good ads and bad ads, both on and offline, with a particular focus on online interactive advertising technology.

Above all, I hope this blog inspires better ads, and a better ad consumer experience.