Do Consumers Really Like When Advertisers Hijack Their Screens?
You know that deal about how you will stay in shape if you take 10,000 steps a day? It sounds both intuitively true (you’re keeping busy) and intuitively vague. (What kind of walking? Lawn-mowing versus strolling around the Tri-County Mall?) Altogether, I conclude the 10,000 steps theory is just a way of saying, “stay active.”
Well, in that vein, Adweek’s Mike Shields reports that based on new research from Ipsos ASI, working with Undertone, there is evidence that the kind of online advertising that take over—those video ads that suddenly gobble up the entire screen—are the ones that consumers prefer. They asked 3,000 panelists about it and discovered those ads have the best recall. And they were the ads users liked most. Those ads had a likability score 30% to 49% higher.
Eric Franchi, co-founder of Undertone, told Shields the results didn’t surprise him, and to some degree he has a logical argument: An advertiser going in for the big kill with a big ad is likely to put more effort into the project than a more modest attempt.
But beyond noticing that Pepsi has invaded my screen with an obviously well-produced ad, my takeaway is that Pepsi has intruded.
Perhaps I just don’t have the right attitude, but going back to the 10,000 steps, I live each day recognizing I am going to be bombarded with messages and Justin Bieber stories. I have to think out my path, since whatever I do, I'm going to get hit, and now, even online ads are getting longer.
If you are going to be around media, and that includes most human beings in this country, the idea of watching a really compelling ad is … not very compelling because so many will come at me. So if you interrupt me with advertising, you’re starting off in a bad way. I actually judge the message more harshly because the advertiser has felt it was so damn important. I don’t doubt the recall. But I do doubt that the kind of recall I’m having is the one the advertiser wants me to have.
When the survey found that “people were 90% more likely to agree that these full-screen units are ‘an ad people will talk about’ compared to other display ads” it seems to me those respondents may not be lying. But they not be endorsing the ads, either.
I know I’m not totally alone on this. Those mischief makers at AdBlock Plus saw this story and tweeted, sarcastically, “ ‘People don't care about ads that take up the whole screen.’ That's why over 250MM users downloaded Adblock Plus. Sigh.” That does seem to be a valid point, too. There is the Hippocratic oath: “First do no harm.” To which we might append a 21st century update: “And stay out of my face.”firstname.lastname@example.org