Advertisers have tried many approaches on Web. When one approach bombed, advertisers tried a new one. The latest is "contextual advertising." Sounds sophisticated. But it will die like all others. Why? Because none of these fanciful techniques take into account new online reality: The visitor is boss.
A new approach, Informative Advertising, does.
The Advertising Cemetery
Since inception of commercial Web, advertisers have been busy trying innumerable techniques. I look briefly at major ones:
1 - PUSH - Early in game they decided to send news together with advertising directly to Net user. Did not get off ground
2 - BANNERS - At first banners seemed to work. But after awhile they faded away. The cemetery is full of them.
3 - ANIMATION - You still see animation, though not as much as was prevalent at first. It will die soon
4 - FLASH - This seems to be time for Flash. But it is so irritating it will die soon too
5 - POP-UPS - You try to visit a site and up pops a window with an ad. Annoying. I don't give it much time to live
6 - POP-UNDERS - Instead of window popping up in front of window you want you see popped window afterwards. This too will die
The Latest Approach: Contextual Advertising
Now advertisers have gotten brilliant idea of grabbing visitor's attention while he or she is in a related situation. They say that if a person is at a search engine entering a keyword, this is a good place to advertise a product or service that fits under this keyword. This particular approach, it seems to me, is an excellent form of advertising. It has been done successfully by Google and other search engines. Some call this "contextual advertising." But I have a better name for it, as I will show below.
Here is an example of "contextual advertising." An outfit called EZula sells keywords. But instead of supplying a search engine EZula distributes a program called TOPtext. When a user of TOPtext visits a site, he sees highlighted words, which enable him to jump to sites that have purchased ads for these keywords.
These words are not highlighted by website owner. They are highlighted by TOPtext. The jumps take visitor, not to a site chosen by website owner, but to a competitor site. Do you think competitors will put up with this? More important, do you think visitor, when he finds out about this "contextual stealing," will trust advertiser for anything? This is most outrageous form of advertising invented so far.
Wells Fargo Bank, I hear, is one such "contextual advertiser." Does this increase your trust in Wells Fargo?
The Big Blunder