The current mania about ad blocking seems to be encouraging more attempts to find ways to amiably intrude with commercial messages you’ll watch. It's a good instinct. At least with clever ways to present ads, there’s a chance you’ll see them.
I read about a new wrinkle. The Quartz.com site is now experimenting with videos that are gloriously free of pre-roll. But on the bottom of the frame is a thin, gauzy overlay, and to te far right of that strip is a little logo for Lincoln Motor Company.
Faintly, as I watch the Quartz video I’m there to see, in the bottom right I see clips of Matthew McConaughey, the logo superimposed on him). It’s not distracting and probably half the size of an adult fingernail. No big deal.
If my cursor rolls over that logo, a Lincoln MKX ad plays until I keep rolling and the editorial content resumes. He comes and goes. You have to stay away from the bottom right. (The ad unit doesn’t show up on mobile screens at all.)
Lincoln didn’t want to intrude unless it was invited, more or less. I would say this is definitely less. It’s not a full fledge welcome-mat-out kind of invite.
And what’s more, little tricks like that get me all uptight while watching the original video I came to see. Better not mindlessly doodle with the mouse! Better not read the accompanying story. It might start up Matthew.
I get wary. Do you remember that bathtub scene in “Fatal Attraction” when Michael Douglas is pretty sure he’s drowned Glenn Close, but all of a sudden. . . (start at about 1:48). Well, like that.
“Our data shows that luxury automotive shoppers value their own time more than almost anything else,” Lincoln marketing manager Lee Jelenic told AdExchanger.com. “We strive to have the most contextually relevant advertising, which is served in a meaningful way when it will have value for them.”
Well, way to strive.
I only saw a couple places where Quartz is using this Lincoln meek-takeover ad. One was a piece about “cultural appropriation” of fashionistas of other cultures’ clothing styles, an interesting and you might say “upscale” subject. So good, there.
But with the slightest stray mouse action, Lincoln shows one of those McConaughey commercials you’ve seen a million times. I don’t want it. And if I did it, why If I just got into the appropriation video, would I stop that to watch a 2 minute and 45, information-free arty ad for a luxury SUV?
Maybe if it wasn’t the same old ad. Trying a brand new ad insertion type? Why not produce a new ad?
But really, don’t try. Virtually every new way to gently introduce viewers to a streaming ad forces them not just to consider the product but to calculate how hard they want to try to get out of watching and then figuring out how to do it. I like pre-roll, considering the alternatives. Just do firstname.lastname@example.org