Sunday, March 10, 2013

I hate Pop-Up ads!!!

Okay, this is me going on a rant.

I will not buy anything I see in a pop-up ad. They are the most annoying form of advertising ever devised. I know the big problem with the internet is that no one has figured out yet how to make a substantial profit out of it. That certainly is my problem. Banner ads are only slightly effective. And newspapers and other sites have found it’s difficult to charge people for their services when other outlets will provide it for free. Why go to reputable newspapers when there are people like me in their underwear banging out blogs?

But I can’t imagine anybody… ever… in any corner of the universe… buying something they see from a pop-up ad.

It’s as if you’re watching a concert and suddenly from out of nowhere someone gets right up into your grill and screams “HEY, WANNA BUY LIFE INSURANCE?!!” What are the chances you’ll say “Sure. Thanks. I specifically went to this remaining-Beatles reunion just hoping someone would sell me long term life insurance”?

Wouldn’t it be more likely you’d knee him in the groin and threaten to kill him and his family if he ever again came within one mile of you?

That’s the common reaction when people are assaulted by pop-up ads. First off, they resent the product. Like me, they’ll probably boycott it. It doesn’t take Don Draper to figure out that boycotting is not a good end result to an advertising campaign.

Seriously, should an X10 camera ad pop onto my screen I will scramble to my mouse and obliterate it faster than if it were a sex scene between Larry King and a goat.

Girls, name me one time a guy ever won your heart by continually yanking at your hair. This form of attention getting DOES NOT WORK!

Of course the idiot advertisers who think otherwise are devising new ways to skirt pop-up blocking programs and making their CLOSE tabs so small no one can find them without a microscope so strong it can differentiate atoms.

As for you websites that allow these obnoxious pop-ups, I understand that you need revenue, but you run the risk of pissing off your readers and losing your audience. And once you have no traffic your sponsors will go away too. So it’s a lose/lose/lose/lose/lose situation.

Just know this: I will never “CLICK HERE TO WIN MY PRIZE”. I will never “CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS”. I will only “CLICK HERE TO HAVE EVERYONE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS KILLED BY MUTANT COWS”.

I feel better now. Thanks.

35 comments:

David Whitham said...

Levar Burton may have won the internet when he tweeted, "It would be a downgrade" to Google Glass, but you just won the internet today.

john brown said...

And if the popup ad is for a paper version of your website, you are out of luck.
Now can we talk about sites that use Captcha in the comment section?

frank1569 said...

If you're using Firefox, get the Ad Block Plus extension, and also go into Options and, under the Content tab, click 'Block Pop Up Ads.'

Not only will you never see Pop Up Ads again, you will also never see any ads on most web pages, including Twitter.

Chrome offers a similar extension and Pop Up blocker options, but there're not as comprehensive as Firefox's.

deanareeno said...

Re: AdBlock Plus

click here for the Chrome extension

click here for the Firefox addon

Adblock Plus is not yet available for IE or Safari, but I did find this for Safari:

Adblock for Safari

...don't know if it handles pop-ups though.

I haven't had pop-up ads/ads-in-general in years.


404 said...

The thing that gets me is that advertisers wouldn't use them if they ultimately didn't work. Pop-ups have been around long enough for people to figure out if they are helping move their product or not. So, while you, and many others, have this hatred, there must be people out there who actually pay attention to the pop-ups. Or else, why would they still use them?

RatPack2 said...

I agree with Frank and Deanareeno (where are the posts from Sammy?)

Firefox's pop up blocker is so good I forgot that other people see adds on sites like Gmail etc.

The white space around some websites is the only hint that other people are being tormented by advertisements.

Liggie said...

I've read that with Spam, marketers/companies can get a list of 100 e-mail addresses for a penny, or 10,000 for a buck. Therefore, if just one idiot out of 10,000 clicks on the link and buys the product, they've made their marketing outlay back in spades. The same principle must apply to pop-ups. If they send it to the amount of visitors that could fit in a sports arena, and just one of those responds, profit! Those pop-ups aren't going anywhere.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

404: Advertisers use pop-up ads because less intrusive advertising is failing (at least in their eyes).

Like others, I recommend AdBlock Plus. But a side note: for years I refused to have anything to do with X10 because in the early days of Net advertising their ads were ubiquitous - not just pop-up ads, but the highly insidious pop-under ads, which you would find on your screen when you closed a browser window. But: the sad fact is that X10 is actually really cool. One of my friends has all X10-enabled lights, so you can control the lighting anywhere in the house from remote controls positioned in every room.

wg

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Don't pretty all web browsers come with a pop-up blocker? If not, download AdFender.

My biggest rant a few years ago was when roll-over/extendable ads were all the rage: not only were they EXTREMELY annoying, but a lot of the time, they would actually extend even if you didn't hover your cursor over them (and in some rare cases, would automatically open even when you didn't click on them).

Jeremiah Avery said...

I despise the ads that actually cover the whole page - the page, after loading, will start to fade as the ad covers it all up. I make it a point to not buy anything with those ads and also if they keep up, I stop going to the site in general.

I get the need for generating revenue but aggravating people is not the way to do it.

Kitty said...

You blog in your underwear?

Mac said...

That's what i don't get. Who ever buys something through a pop-up? Doesn't there come a point where the pop-up makers (whoever the hell they are) realise there's no return on them? Is a timeshare in a holiday home such an impulse buy that it didn't occur to anyone to get one until they saw it in a pop-up?

MikeBo said...

Amen Ken! Lately, Xfinity has taken to running pop-up ads with audio that activate when you happen to move your cursor across a display ad for the advertiser. This is really best for me when I go to check my email and suddenly am treated to some loudmouth car sales for the Stockton Auto Mall blaring out of my hi def stereo system. My sleeping wife, dog and cats love it too. And, I too have noticed that my pop up blockers are less effective. I understand the need for internet advertising, but this is an instrusion.

Terrence Moss said...

The capitalists of the world put the cart before the horse in trying to monetize a medium they didn't know much about. And we're all still learning about the powers and the possibilities of the internet.

Pop-up ads, distracting banner ads and worst of all, interstitials are not the way to go.

I've long suggested a reimagining of how shows were sponsored in the early days of television. That way it becomes about the long-term association and less about the hits and the likes and the tweets because those are really hollow numbers to base an ad campaign on.

Wayne said...

Pop-up ads remind of the pickup technique of just saying "Wanna screw?" to every woman you meet.

Marv said...

CNN.com is particularly bad, not with pop ups but having to watch a 30 second commercial in order to see a 15 second news report. And I also agree about Captcha. I can never make out the letters and the verbal version is ridiculous, so this may or may not make it onto Ken's site.

Mike Barer said...

About capcha, I agree it is annoying, but it is a nescessity if you are blogging. Robotic forces scan the internet and put advertising in the comments section.
Think of it as a nescessary (sp) evil.

Brian Haner said...

Must disagree. After seeing the popup add, I bought a DVD from LarryKing&Goat.com

Erin said...

I'm a new reader to your blog and, I have to say, I love the blog ALONG with your readers' comments. It is one of the few blogs that I scroll down for with every post.

Jenny Brown said...

Are they teenage mutant cows, or regular 'model' cows that pop-up (just wearing their underwear) with the caption, "Eat more chiken"?, cuz they're very a-moo-sing.

Cap'n Bob said...

Alas, even the ads promising to put you in touch with hot young women in your area are bogus. The Net needs the equivalent of a Do Not Call list.

Brian Berry said...

The notion of seeing a unwanted pop-up ad when browsing the web is so antiquated I'm surprised the headline to this blog post wasn't set in blinking text and accompanied by a MIDI file playing the M*A*S*H theme.

estiv said...

Have to agree with those pointing out that if the pop-up ads didn't work, they wouldn't be there. It's just another example of the coming idiocracy.
A related case is that anything really cool on the Web almost never advertises on TV. (Google's done, what, one TV ad?) But when I land on one of the cable channels, there are ads all the time for Web-based services I've never heard of anyplace else.

Craig Russell said...

I have Firefox and see maybe 1-2 pop ups a day...Really thought EVERYONE has gone to the "pop up blockers"...

Reminds me of this Dave Chappelle Show skit...

http://www.snotr.com/video/7785/If_The_Internet_Was_A_Real_Place

Eric J said...

Pop ups exist for the same reason that total shit sitcoms exist. They appeal to just enough people to make them work. Both would disappear if they didn't make money for someone.

Cap'n Bob said...

In a related note, when I get junk mail with a postage paid envelope enclose, I tear up the mail and send it back in the pp envelope. The sender has to pay the postage. Good for the postoffice, good for my sense of striking back at the bastards.

christodoulos said...

Has this Captcha thingy gotten easier lately, or is it just me?

Btw, Ken, I would like to ask you something not blog-related, but I don't see any e-mail link, so, perhaps I could instead post my own address here? Thanks!

My e-mail address is:

chrislitharis AT gmail.com

WizarDru said...

Here's the thing: pop-up adds, just like spam, has a TERRIBLE success rate. But the cost barriers are so low that it doesn't matter to the people who generate them. If less than 0.001% of people respond to such advertisements, they succeed. That's based primarily on the fact that the cost to run such ads are so low and the ease of penetration is so vast that they can afford such inefficient work.

But in the last few years, they have become even less successful, so their days are likely numbered. Online advertising is returning to the same tropes that sold original advertising, primarily in terms of contests and content-sponsorship.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

estiv: Web companies not doing TV ads was I think a strategy Google initiated: instead of spending money on advertising, Google created cool services that every publication in the world wanted to write about (Google Earth, Google maps, Street View) - they got enormous publicity that way for a relatively modest outlay of researchers' time that also fed into their core business.

In the dot-com boom, it was quite common to see TV ads for AOL, pets.com, Fogdog (a short-lived sports retailer), etc. It turned out, of course, that giving good service that created word of mouth was a better, less money-burning strategy. And then came social media, which is a better option for a start-up.

wg

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

I agree with everything you said, Ken. I don't see a lot of popup ads because I do have them blocked, so I'm sure a lot don't come through. But I will absolutely ignore all those ads on the side--or the top, or wherever else--that show items that I have searched on specific sites. I will NEVER buy from any ad that is forced upon me.

Lou H said...

It reminds me of talk radio around 15 years ago, where it seemed half the ads at night were for hair growth or virility pills. (What the hell is saw palmetto, anyway?) I guess it depends on the size of the audience and their demographics, although I'm surprised at the low quality of ads on Yahoo Finance - lots of ads for testosterone pills accompanied by stock photos of busty women.

Ken, you probably have stories about ads for fly-by-night companies when you were doing local radio - any you can share?

Anonymous said...

GMail doesn't have (and never has had) pop-up ads. In fact, Google doesn't use pop-up ads at all, on any of their products.

RareWaves said...

Between Adblock for Safari and Adblock Plus for Firefox, plus both browsers have a checkbox in their preferences section to block pop-ups, my browsing experience is practically ad free. The best I can do with ads shown before videos is mute them.

Kaleberg said...

Someone must be making a living on spam and popups. Spam, at least, seems to be 9-5 and tends to take the weekend off. (I though botnets would work 24/7, but spambots seem to have a union.) The popups are always with us, though I've been able to block most of them.

We live a weird existence since we have a good spam filter, block internet ads and don't have a television set. We download what we want, and when someone mentions a good ad, we'll usually find it on Youtube.

Mike Barer said...

Trick on the captcha, if you can't read it, hit "publish" and an easier one will come up.