Ads Backwards

crystal light adIf you've got a captive audience before a broadband video kicks in, why do some sites tack commercials on the end of the segment, rather than the beginning? Because advertisers, in spite of what most people think, try not to annoy their viewers.

"People shut their minds off to pre-roll," says Lou Amico, president of L.A. Management, a multimedia marketing company in Denver, North Carolina. "People get very resentful - especially on the Internet, where they expect to access information quickly and avoid the delay and clutter of traditional media."

Post-roll ads set off less rancor. The new banner ads that YouTube and Google sometimes overlay on the lower third of the screen are somewhere between the two on the annoyance scale, he adds."People are more receptive to them as an element," Amico said. "They get a message across without being annoying." Nonetheless, he adds, "they're obviously bleeding into traditional media."

Want to annoy your audience the least of all? Make your ad into a separate video altogether, and let people watch it independently, says Glenn Pingul, vice president at the online video marketing company Mixpo in Seattle. Once they've clicked on a five-minute video ad, "people actually watch most of it," Pingul says. "That's pretty good."
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