New York startup Solve Media says it can swap out the random, hard-to-read text of captchas with clear, concise English. Better yet, "it says it can turn captchas into revenue generators for publishers, by transforming them into ad units," reports MediaMemo
. "Assuming it does work, CEO Ari Jacoby has an interesting product on his hands. He's pitching it specifically to display advertisers and big brands that put a lot of money into TV spots but have a hard time doing much with click-per-action schemes offered by Google's AdWords and others."
The ads require users to engage with them, by typing in the names of brands and products. "It's sort of like sitting on your couch and uttering 'Outback' every time a Subaru spot comes on." The "type-in" ads will increase Web surfer's recall of the ads, for the same reason that writing anything down makes it easier to remember. That's much more valuable than taking users to a branded mini-site, says Jacoby.