Last week, when I was coming up with my idea for this week’s column, we coincidentally commented on the very same thing in passing conversation. The topic was what I decided to discuss this week. Simply put: The majority of ads on mobile SUCK!
Some of what I see on apps is not horrible, like interstitials. I’m not even talking about the ads I see on my Facebook feed, which I think tend to be pretty good and offer a unique experience.
The real problem comes from the ads you’re served when you visit some click-bait article from your feed. The experience is worse than the now-defunct pop-ups of “olden days.” I click through to read something interesting, and I have four full-page ads with no “x” to close — and when I scroll down the mobile page, all the content is disguised to look like ads; the ads are larger than the content, so they trick your eye to click.
The worst of the worst, though is the forced scroll, which requires me to scroll down while it covers the content, blocking my view until I “see” the whole ad.
This is why people hate us. This is why advertising gets a bad rap!
The people buying these ads, and those placing these ads, should be tied up and forced to listen to a mash-up of Vanilla Ice and REO Speedwagon on repeat for seven days straight, with nothing but bread and water for sustenance.
We wonder why the most popular app on the App Store last week was an ad blocker. Those ads should be blocked! Maybe, if they were, the fly-by-night companies who place them would all go out of business — and the folks with true strategic chops and actual products and services of interest would be able to succeed!
I read an article that said if you work in the ad business and you use an ad blocker, you’re a hypocrite. I don’t disagree, but if you work in the ad business and you buy or sell that schlock, you’re also a hypocrite.
I have an advertising degree and I legitimately love advertising, but seeing these kinds of desperate attempts to generate page views and revenue make me sad.
It’s like the Direct TV ads with Rob Lowe and “that other Rob Lowe.” One of us believes in strategy and the ability to deliver a relevant message that resonates with the audience in a way that can spur an action. The other one of us believes in click-through rates, runs an ad campaign using 4 DSPs in one media flight, and believes CPA should be the core of an advertising strategy because it will get lots of impressions quickly.
Don’t be like the “other ad exec” me. Be like me: Use strategy. It just might save your career!
That’s all I have for this week. I have to go back to crying on the inside over the sorry state of affairs in mobile advertising. I hope to recover for next week’s column.