Advertising is a necessary evil of the internet. Without it, the internet wouldn’t be free, and we wouldn’t have the breadth of websites we currently enjoy.
However, there are some advertising tactics that are unforgivable, and more often than not will make me leave the page never to return. These are the top three:
1. Pop-up ads.
There really is nothing more annoying than a pop-up. The reasons why it’s so infuriating are also the reasons why advertisers use them: attention grabbing, instantaneous, and easy to digest. Except that they’re too attention grabbing, as in when I’m deep into an article about how scientists have just created real life lightsabers and all of a sudden this pops up:
Yeah, it’s pretty frikkin distracting. I don’t care about whatever is inside the little bubble that’s just shattered whatever concentration my fractured attention span could have mustered up. The sudden invasion of my focus sends me reeling for the X button faster than when I was 13 and my mom walked into the computer room at night. It’s like, “Gah! Dear god what is that thing kill it kill it kill it!!!!”
So, yeah, not a good strategy to make me hate whatever you’re selling.
2. Splash pages.
Ok, the second most annoying thing in internet advertising is when I’m trying to go to a page just to see some funny countdown about the top 10 worst celebrity tattoos and am greeted by this:
Forbes is the worst at this. They have splash pages whenever you try to go to their site from another page, it seems. Here, try it.
If it worked, you saw some sort of splash page. If it didn’t then you probably saw any number of Forbes’ other god-awful distracting ads. Don’t be like Forbes.
I mean, seriously, how the hell does Ratatouille have anything to do with what I’m looking for? Usually these adverts are for TV shows or diamonds or other crap I don’t care about and it just serves to invade my already fleeting attention span and send me on to your page with a sour attitude. How dare you blast my face with an adorable rat and his story that I’ve already seen. Move out of the way, I want to see some crappy tattoos.
Wait…where’s the button to go to the site?
3. Video ads with sound.
I like to open multiple tabs at once. I’m efficient that way. I go on one site, open about 100 tabs, forget what I was originally doing and get lost on the interwebs for about an hour. But nothing, and I mean nothing, sends me on such a frantic search with as much murderous intent as the sudden blaring of a car engine accompanied by Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”
Where is that coming from!? Which of my 1000’s of tabs is emitting that wretched noise?! FIND IT KILL IT BURN IT.
Notice a theme here, ad companies? Quit doing annoying things with your ads. Nobody likes it and it just makes me hate your product even more. Case in point, if you open this in YouTube, you have to watch an ad before you have to watch Niki Minaj. Now that’s just cruel:
But to make up for it, here’s the Old Spice Commercial. Ad companies, take note. This is how you do ads. Be like this: