Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Nice Empty Space You Got There. Mind If We Run a Web Ad?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to Web advertising right now. Some people want to improve ads by figuring out who’s looking at them.

Then there are the folks trying to make sure you can’t look away from their ads.

We can put Undertone’s new “PageSkin” ads in the latter category. I don’t love the name, but the idea is simple enough: The ad network’s newest unit fills up the empty vertical borders on the sides of  many, but not all, Web pages.

Like so:

Straightforward, right? You don’t have to like it, but that doesn’t mean Web publishers won’t try it: Consider it the digital equivalent of sticking ads in front of movies, or on PBS, or any other place that didn’t use to have them but does all the time now. Undertone CEO Mike Cassidy says he will “easily” get “double-digit” CPMs for these.

The persistence of the ad unit does run a little counter to other in-your-face ads other Web publishers have been adopting in the last year or so. Like “pushdown” ads that temporarily, um, push down the content you want to see to make room for an ad.

Then again, I’ve already adapted to those, or at least I think I have. I’m now conditioned to expect an ad-sponsored hiccup before I get to the stuff I want, so my brain takes a little pause as the page loads up.

Meanwhile, here’s an approach that I definitely like: Run an ad in a place where you expect to see ads–but run a different kind of ad.

I’ve questioned Google’s attempts to promote its online products with offline ads before, but I do applaud the company for attaching its Chrome Browser to Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign with a TV campaign.

Even more interesting is that while Google has run the spot during “Glee”, it’s also made a point of venturing farther afield: I’ve now seen it during a TNT NBA playoff game, and during daytime runs of ESPN. It shouldn’t be interesting that an explicitly pro-gay ad appeared on big-time sports broadcasts in 2011, but it is. And that’s sort of the point.

[Excerpt image via Lord Jim]

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First the NSA came for, well, jeez pretty much everybody’s data at this point, and I said nothing because wait how does this joke work

— Parker Higgins via Twitter