Monday, March 29, 2010

Pop Up Decline

I’ve written about pop up ads before but I’ve gotten better. Better at ignoring them.

As you know (and cannot help knowing) pop up ads are the new Ray Bans, everyone has to have them. Most news sites have them, youtube has the ads at the bottom of videos, some video streaming sites have pop ups, the dictionaries, and music sites all have pop up ads.

However I have developed awesome-window-closing-speed-clicking techniques!

If you watch close the pop up will appear in front of the open window before retreating behind the veil of safety provided by the other open windows.

This is where I strike. Using all my peripheral vision skills gained from countless hours playing first person shooter, I search and destroy the weak spot in the ad’s armor, the red X in the corner.

The point is I don’t even look at ads anymore. I couldn’t tell you what they were advertizing. So does the ad help anyone?

Companies are not getting their product advertized because I’m not looking at the ads and I’m mad because I have to deal with pop ups.

Video games have changed the advertizing game. Our generation is different from the one that came before us. Pop ups may work on past generations but advertizing companies need to adapt.

I don’t really know what will work. But it needs to be smart and not annoying.


  1. Honestly, Patrick, can you really say that you aren't affected by ads? Ads feed on current trends and seek to buy into society's weaknesses. The average person as of 1999 was barraged by 3000 ads per day and will spend 3 whole years of their life watching television commercials. I know you're referring more to pop-ups and banners, but advertising is a major industry. Advertising has increased from a $20 billion industry (1979) to a $180 billion industry (1999), and it's still growing. Whether or not you would like to admit to it, these ads affect us all. In the few seconds it takes for you to scroll and click the little "x" at the top right of the screen, that's how long it takes for the ad to strike you. That's how long its creator planned that you would witness and maybe even note it. . .maybe even click on it, being taken either to the product page or another riddled with spam that seeks your credit card number. The average human's focused attention span is 8 seconds. Advertisers know how to use these vital seconds to make you remember them, whether they become famous or notorious in your mind. Remember the ads with badly Photoshopped images of overweight women and men showing a progression of them shrinking? The pill name or method was listed in bold letters at the bottom. You may not be consciously looking at the ads, but don't you typically know what they are advertising? It's ingrained in us all. Ads are both smart AND annoying. As I said earlier, they play into our weaknesses. If we weren't affected by them, we wouldn't care. . .we wouldn't find them annoying, now would we?

  2. I'll say i honestly can only consciously remember one pop up (for the economist by its red background) but you are right there is probably some subconscious thing going on. (i havent bought anything from a pop up but i did think my teeth needed to be whitened so i bought crest white strips & it made me feel better. subconscious things? maybe) I just dislike the fact that they are popping up. that is what makes them annoying in my mind (and the fact that they are selling products i wont buy), so their existence is what i "care"/am concerned about and what annoys me.

  3. Get the AdBlock+ Extension for Firefox.
    I'm constantly surprised by how many people don't have this and actually deal with ads. Quite literally, I haven't seen any text, static image, or flash ads in several years. The only advertisements that land on my screen are the commercial breaks in Hulu videos, and I can deal with that.

    Granted, I know that widespread use of AdBlocking techniques is bad for the companies and services we all love, but since the majority of ad revenue comes from viewer action and not just viewer impression, I sleep well knowing that I never would've clicked on the ad that I kept myself from seeing in the first place.