Banking on Surfers Saving Ads

Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT), Unilever PLC and 19 other major marketers have signed up with a new effort to get users to store and revisit ads they see on the Web, rather than ignore them.

The new service—from start-up AdKeeper—bills its technology as “bookmarks for banner ads” or “TiVo for advertisements.”

Advertisers drop a small button into the corner of their ads that shows up wherever the ad appears. The button, a small k, expands when users mouse over it, telling them to “keep this ad.” Users can click on it to save the ad to a separate webpage and continue browsing. Later, they can return to that ad-collection page and scroll through, filter and click on the ads.

“Internet advertising is pretty pitiful,” says AdKeeper founder Scott Kurnit, who also founded the content company that became About.com in 1996. He says people need to be able to enjoy online ads more on their own time: “We have to figure out how to get people to want to engage.”

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