Interruption, avoidance, compulsion?

We all know the challenges presented by the decline of the interruptive advertising model and the threat of ad avoidance enabled by complex technology like the DVR and the simpler notion of having better things to do.

One of the more surprising resolutions to the issue may be inherent in a patent applied for by Apple that will disable the functionality of software unless its user demonstrates attention to the advertising carried by the application in question.

Apart from sounding more like a lemon than an Apple this idea is as flawed as every other bribevertising model ever created. Forced consumption of advertising simply does not work. The battlefield of the web is is littered with the grave markers of ‘click on ad, earn points’ businesses that produce splendid volumes of enquiries and dismal levels of conversion for the simple reason that the click was driven by desire for points and not by interest in the product advertised.

Advertiser patience for non-converting inquiries is somewhere between momentary and non-existent and such programs end up in the same bucket as click fraud in short order.

Businesses file patents all the time that they don’t intend to use or of which they make think better. This one seems different because it’s Apple that has applied for it. Despite that my guess is that wise heads will prevail and that Apple won’t corrupt its unique status in the brand pantheon with such an ugly resolution to a business problem.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Interruption, avoidance, compulsion?

  1. At first I thought this was a premature April 1 missive. Upon reading it all I can not help but totally agree with Rob. The solution to people opting out of ads is not compulsion (think about how happy you are during the pre-movie ad roll in theaters) but better ads more intelligently placed. Given the amount of behaviorial data available it would seem that creative agencies and their clients talk the talk but don’t walk the walk (or however that goes). Fewer ads, more intelligently targeted would go a long, long way towards getting attention than any technogizmo solution (which will be hacked out of existance within moments anyhow.

  2. sweaty75

    This makes me think of “Clockwork Orange.” Forced consumption will cause users to switch, I do it every morning listening to the radio. They run the ads just before they give me the traffic and weather and nine times out of ten I miss my traffic report because I end up listening to Lady Ga Ga or something on a different station.

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