The Web has changed and evolved dramatically since its beginnings, but we still see sites exposing the same noxious, stunts that annoyed us in late 1994. Ads That Sing and Dance are one of the main offenders.
Banner ads and Google AdSense might not buy a site operator a new Bentley, but they also don’t offend the audience quite like other ads do. For example, they don’t expand to take up your whole screen or play a video just because you were unlucky enough to move the mouse over the advertisement. (Yes, I know most sites using these ads is just as guilty as everyone else. For what it’s worth, it bugs us, too.)
Exhibit A: The mouseover video ad land mine waits in its unexploded state. Oh, look, it’s on a lyrics site, no less.Not only do these ads look obnoxious and get in the viewer’s way, but they also can be unexpectedly disturbing and hard to avoid–particularly when audio is involved. I routinely have at least five or six browser tabs open, and I’m constantly opening and closing new ones. At least once a week, I open a new window, accidentally move the mouse over the banner’s hot spot, switch tabs while waiting for the page to finish loading, and think nothing of it until I’m being pitched on a product through my speakers. Loudly.
Exhibit B: The mouseover video ad has found its next victim.Once the sound starts blaring through my speakers to the whole office, I panic. What just happened? I didn’t open a video. My only open tabs are Gmail, Google Docs, and an article from Salon, or maybe the New York Times. Maybe it’s some new kind of malware? Nope–just an ad.
Take heed, advertisers: Moving the mouse over a banner is not a click. If you really think the audience wants to hear your pitch, wait until they click your ad before you play the video. If they’re not clicking, it’s because they don’t want to hear it.
What bugs you?Complain away in our comments!