Keep Ads? Crazy. Or, is It?

Let’s take the Super Bowl, for example. For many Americans, what happened between the plays was just as entertaining as what happened on the field. Instead of running off for chili and chips, millions of us were glued to the screen to see what America’s great marketers had in store. We actively watched the ads, laughed about them, shared them with friends and we’re still talking about our favorites.

And, why? It’s simple. There’s a great ad filter on Super Bowl Sunday called “really expensive media time,” which ensures that only the best ads get airtime. I have to hand it to the car guys–Kia, Chrysler and Audi… and the Moto Tablet had me thinking Apple showed up too. And who hasn’t tried to get that email back like the Bridgestone guy running all over town?

The Super Bowl is proof that Americans actually want ads one day of the year, but what about all the other days? That’s the job of AdKeeper: to be Advertising’s Super Bowl the other 364 days. With AdKeeper consumers can gather just the ads of interest and bring them together in one place. Keep the best, toss the rest.

People actually like the ads they want, that are delivered when they want, when they have the time and when they’re in the market for specific goods or services. And why wouldn’t they?

People use ads, every day. Ads save us money, help us research products, explore what to see, do or where to go. They keep us connected with our favorite brands and the best ones entertain us.

The problem with online ads is that they try to interrupt when we’re busy doing something else. Content is our primary purpose for visiting sites; the ads are secondary. So, AdKeeper is designed to help people who want to engage with advertising as a primary activity–later, when they have time.

Ok, we like ads, but why Keep?

  • I’m busy; I came online to read or find something, and while the ad messaging is appealing, I just have to keep doing what I’m doing. I’ll Keep that ad for later.
  • I’m in the market for something and want to compare all the options side-by-side when I have time. Keep for later.
  • The ad is personal in nature (and they all are, right? Medical, job hunting – even shopping for a car) and I want to dive in when no one’s looking over my shoulder. Keep for later.
  • I want to share the ad with someone else. Keep to share.

OK, we like ads, Keeping seems to make sense, but can it be easy enough?

The trick was getting all the friction out for the consumer. AdKeeper lets users Keep ads anytime they see the K. No pre-registration, no set-up, no software, no downloads, no browser extensions, no plug-ins – nothing. Click. Kept. Period. Click the K and they continue whatever they were doing. Do it over and over. Then, whenever they’re ready to engage with their Kept ads, they just click through any K, on any ad, anywhere and they’re delivered to their personal, private Keeper.

The truth about human nature.

People save the ads they want.

We have drawers filled with coupons and wallets and handbags filled with useful ads we’ve torn out. We have ads sprinkled into our stacks of paper. Hairstyles, resorts, the latest fashions, the newest vehicle features…. we’re busy so we grab these ads and keep on going.

And, we love the ads on niche Web sites and buy special interest magazines like Field and Stream, Ski and Vogue as much for the ads as for the content.

The fact is, 90 percent of people have torn an ad from a magazine. Over three billion coupons were redeemed last year, just for packaged goods.

People do it now. People want it online.

Most of us want to Keep ads. Not everyone, but most.

Multiple focus groups had consumers literally jumping out of their seats asking when this tool could be theirs to use. 56 percent of Internet users intend to use the service based on two different Nielsen studies.

Of the 56 percent who said they intended to use AdKeeper 71 percent intend to use it two times a week and 27 percent, more than five times a week.

Consumers also said they like AdKeeper for all these reasons: It’s easy – 87 percent; Saving for later – 87 percent; It’s secure – 86 percent; Sharing – 78 percent; Top ads showcased – 77 percent; Value – 76 percent; Organization – 75 percent; Money saving – 72 percent. And 69 percent were surprised that this has never been done before.

This behavior simply hasn’t yet migrated from offline to online since there wasn’t a mechanism to make it possible.

The fundamental construct of Internet advertising is backwards

We moved from linear TV to the interactive Internet but didn’t move from interruptive to invitational advertising. Advertising has historically relied on being interruptive, often annoyingly so.

That’s over. Users are in control on the Internet, like never before. Simply: interruptive advertising in a dynamic medium is illogical. What’s crazy is that it took us 15 years to create Keeping. IMPRESSIONS and CLICKS are fine, but KEEPS are a big deal.

We don’t dislike individual ads when they’re properly targeted, at the right time in the right place, with respectful presentation. When we get what we want, we can organize it, sift it, make it useful and control it – advertising is awesome.

Online advertising is broken, but not beyond repair.

After 15 years of phony input fields, punching monkeys, and every annoying trick in the book, you’d think that we’ve destroyed the medium, that we’ve created 100 percent banner blindness. Luckily, it’s not true.

While banner blindness gets worse by the day, the good news is there is still time to fix it. In fact, the best online ads are able to rise above the noise. The Online Publishers Association released a fascinating eye tracking study last November that showed 96 percent of people noticed OPA ad units while naturally surfing and 67 percent looked back before leaving the page. Imagine, instead of just looking back, now you could hold onto the ad and engage on your terms.

That said, the industry needs more clicks–and today, clicks on ads may be the most pitiful thing to happen in the history of the Internet. .09 percent are clicking, less than one in 1000. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. And, with 28 percent of consumers’ media time spent online, but only 13 percent of the ad spend, Internet ad models need some serious fixing.

Respect for consumers and putting them in control is long overdue, and the pent up demand from our advertising partners shows that we’re not alone in craving this change. There’s a reason more, bigger and better brands have signed on with AdKeeper than any new media effort, ever.

The industry’s role in Keeping

AdKeeper is good for everyone in the ad ecosystem. We’re out to create extra impressions and deeper engagement – more clicks, actions, sharing, printing, likes, fans, tweets, conversions and enhanced CRM. This is good for advertisers, publishers and most importantly, consumers.

The more ads with Keep Buttons, the more people will see them, understand them and want to use them. We know for a fact that people want to Keep ads that make a difference in their lives. Now we – all of us – need to help make it happen.

The Internet is the greatest medium of all time. Super Bowl Sunday proves that people like ads that can make an impact. AdKeeper makes it Super Bowl Sunday for advertising, every day.


Must-Reads from other Websites

Panos Mourdoukoutas

Why Apple Should Buy China’s Xiaomi

Paul Graham

What I Didn’t Say

Benjamin Bratton

We Need to Talk About TED

Mat Honan

I, Glasshole: My Year With Google Glass

Chris Ware

All Together Now

Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Sculpture on the Moon

About Voices

Along with original content and posts from across the Dow Jones network, this section of AllThingsD includes Must-Reads From Other Websites — pieces we’ve read, discussions we’ve followed, stuff we like. Six posts from external sites are included here each weekday, but we only run the headlines. We link to the original sites for the rest. These posts are explicitly labeled, so it’s clear that the content comes from other websites, and for clarity’s sake, all outside posts run against a pink background.

We also solicit original full-length posts and accept some unsolicited submissions.

Read more »