Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Apple Ads You Can’t Ignore–Even on the Web

There’s increasing evidence that Web surfers have responded to the crush of online advertising by training themselves to ignore the ads altogether. Bad news for marketers and publishers alike.

Here’s the solution Apple has been using: Place the ads where you’re not used to seeing them. And make them so big–and so interesting–that you can’t look away.

For the latest example, head over to Pitchfork, the hipper-than-all-of-thou music site, where Apple (AAPL) has repurposed a TV ad for the iPod touch. Instead of simply running in a box at the top or side of the page, the ad literally bursts across the front page. This screenshot will give you the idea (click to enlarge):

pitchfork-ad

Here’s a less frenetic, but just as effective, pitch Apple used last week: Oversized video banners that ran across the home pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Apple has been doing this sort of stuff for a while. New York Times and WSJ readers have seen the Mac/PC duo squabbling on those sites’ front pages since 2007. But the technique doesn’t seem to get old.

Admittedly, you can’t do this with every brand, and you can only do it in limited doses. And one of the main reasons this works is that you’re not used to seeing oversized ads on the top third of most sites. So this technique isn’t a cure-all for Web advertising’s creative rut. But it sure is a refreshing change of pace.

UPDATE: Get ready to see many more oversized ads that insist on your attention.


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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo