They’re the bogey you wipe on your jeans that still doesn’t come off your hand. That hair in your eye you can’t see to remove. The person proffering a leaflet you turn down politely only to see they have another 10 colleagues ready and waiting to offer you the same thing up the street. They are misplaced ads. Completely annoying, rarely effective and a sure fire way to alienate every visitor to your website.
So to vent and for fun we’ve categorised popular ads into their closest human likeness with our “If Ads Were a Person” post.
Ad 1. The Rabid Dog
This ad reminds me of Jeremy Kyle issuing the results of a paternity test. It’s aggressive. It follows you around and it won’t take no for an answer. Let’s take Ok! Magazine. Somewhere on this page there are stories, everywhere else there’s Juvederm facial fillers.
And if I scroll down, the fillers are still there.
But if I scroll way down to the bottom… well, they follow me there too.
I’ve got to admit – I’m slightly intimidated.
Ad 2. The Deluded Fool
This ad is a bit like Kanye West believing himself to be Jesus. Or Taylor Swift’s belief that this next boyfriend really IS the one. It’s a little bit mistaken.
Let’s take PC world. Three times I tried to read something on PC world. Three times I had to wait for a new page to load so I could watch this ad. I use the term “watch” loosely as it never actually loaded.
Stop showing me the same ad please!
Ad 3. The Reality TV Star
This ad/pop-up is a bit like Katie Price or Speidi from The Hills. It’s not overly offensive but it’s in-your-face apparent and impossible to avoid. You end up resenting it because you can never quite make it go away. It also forces you work hard to get rid of it – for example notice how subtle the “No Thanks” is in comparison to the “Continue” on this example from Groupon. Just let me browse pop-up free please!
Ad 4. The Oversharer
This ad/pop-up is like another naked photo of Kim Kardashian. We just don’t need to see it. Let’s take deal zippy. I definitely don’t want to hand over my gender, login, name, email address, see your endorsements and show everyone on Facebook that I have indeed dealt zero by going to deal zippy. It’s just too much information.
Ad 5. The Pretentious Princess
This ad/pop-up is stuck up. It’s the “Rich Kids of Instagram”, the Paris Hilton of ads. It has a trust fund. It looks down on you for having a job. It’s the worst. Instead of a simple “X” or “Close” button, this ad doesn’t just let you close it, it makes you feel like an idiot by doing so. Let’s take Elle – to close this ad you have to select a “No thanks, I have enough [clothes] in my closet”. Hateful.
Who Gets it Right?
If these big brands get it wrong, who gets it right? In my opinion, people working in mobile.
If you’re on the move in London waiting for the Euros final and looking to watch it on mobile, an ad or pop-up offering you 20% off to view the particular match you were about to pay 100% to view is well placed. If you order a skirt from John Lewis on mobile, don’t quite get the time to check out before your train arrives and get an ad offering a discount should you wish to continue your purchase later from the checkout stage, that can be also welcome. These things do happen on desktop, but because mobile is on the move, in my experience they happen here more.
Ads that appear after scrolling or after a certain amount of time or visits are also better placed. Especially when tailored to the page/s visited.
But don’t, whatever you do, fall victim to the above 5 ad crimes.