Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

How to Open a Beer Bottle With a Magazine. Is That a Web Ad Worth Saving?

It’s not just me! News that AdKeeper, the start-up that wants Web surfers to save ads they like, has raised $35 million has lots of people scratching their heads. You can see a pretty enlightened debate about the company’s chances over at Quora (first time I’ve ever typed those words in a post, so that’s interesting, too).

But I’ll take one more crack at it here, anyway.

Almost everyone ignores almost every Web ad they see, which makes AdKeeper’s mission pretty tough: Who’s going to save an ad they’re not going to pay attention to?

But AdKeeper says that advertisers will learn to create more engaging and relevant ads. Okay. Let’s say that happens. Why do you need a Web locker to store them?

Here, for instance, is a cool, novel ad that’s worth looking at. Not just the video below, but the entire Web page where the ad resides, which includes a beer-opening schematic that you can print out if you’d like.

But even so–do you really need to save this one? Or are you happy to watch it once and perhaps pass it along to a friend?

Carlsberg could make it more save-worthy, I suppose, by attaching a coupon or some other kind of offer to the ad. But even then, I’m not sure how many people would be interested in collecting the ad–and more important, remembering to check back and look at it again.

But again, we’ll see. AdKeeper CEO Scott Kurnit says he’ll launch this thing by mid-February, and sometime after that, we can come back and see who’s saving what and assess this again.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik