While few people actually like being advertised to, there are some forms of marketing that truly get under out skin. Most of us can deal with commercials, billboards, and we have even gotten used to commercials in movie theaters, but sometimes marketers push the envelope a bit too far. When their marketing efforts begin infringing upon our daily activities we begin to get angered by their messages. Below are eleven types of marketing we are all sick of.
Talking Banner Ads
Perhaps one of the most irritating forms of advertising is the talking or musical banner ad. The truly terrible thing about these audio-annoyances is that they almost never come with a pause button. This means that as you are sitting there reading an article and jamming out to your favorite tunes, you have to contend with, “Congratulations! You’ve been selected to win a FREE iPod Nano!” followed by lengthy instruction on how you retrieve your “prize.” Face it annoying prize lady, we all know we have not been “selected” for anything.
Embedded Video Ads
With internet connections improving in speed each year and video becoming easier and faster to stream, its all too common to visit a web page and see a video player alongside the content showing you commercials. Rather than reading the content you were looking for, it now becomes your mission to seek out the infernal video on the page and figure out how to pause it without accidentally clicking through. What’s worse, some of these videos have no pause button and are significantly longer than the talking banner ads, lasting for minutes at time and all but forcing you to put up with it or close the window.
Banners and Pop-Ups With Games
Ads with interactive games in them are some of the most misleading ones around. It seems so tempting at first to try to shoot the robbers or punch the running monkey, but as soon as you give in and try to play, you are immediately redirected somewhere before you can even get a few shots off. You feel so cheated, expecting a fun little game and instead being bombarded with pop-ups and asked to sign up for a free laptop computer. They are so tempting though, and although we know the game is a lie, we always wonder if maybe the next one will be different. They never are…
Expanding Banner Ads
Expanding banner ads are the booby trap of the Internet. At first the banner looks just like any other, so surfers naturally ignore it and freely scroll around the page. The expanding ad lies secretly in wait, and as soon as your poor mouse rolls over it, a massive graphical advertisement grows out it like a perverse jack-in-the-box. This obnoxious ad covers much of the screen, making it impossible to read the content on the page. Usually trying to scroll away from it or click to close it just reopens it every time, resulting in a hurried click on the browser’s “back” button.
Contextual Roll Over Ads
Perhaps even more distracting than the expanding banner ad is the contextual roll over ad. Disguised as a hyperlink, these ads hide in various words throughout an article you are reading. Once you mistakenly roll your mouse cursor over one, however, a big dialogue box pops out from the word advertising some completely irrelevant product or website that you have no interest in looking at. The ad covers parts of the text you were trying to read and makes it very difficult to close without accidentally clicking. Reading these articles becomes more like running through an obstacle course, trying to avoid hitting the wrong words and escape having read the article un-bothered.
Promo babes are a cruel, evil kind of bait-and-switch tactic that all guys despise (and sort of love). It always happens the same way: you’re standing at the bar, enjoying a few drinks, when all of a sudden your eye catches those of a gorgeous girl in skintight clothing walking your way with a big smile on her face. Just when you begin to think you’re in luck, she sits down next to you and begins talking about the delicious, soothing new brand of vodka on sale tonight, and how you just have to try it in order to really enjoy yourself. That’s when you notice that her shirt carries the same logo as the bottle she’s recommending. Your hopes sink, but of course you end up buying the drink anyway.
It used to be that DVR customers could avoid television commercials by fast-forwarding through them during recorded shows. Gone are those blessed days. Advertisers must have begun losing money to this feature, and so they unleashed pause ads. Pause ads will randomly pause your television program at random intervals and display some kind of ad at the bottom of the screen. Usually in the form of a person or cartoon walking out onto the screen, these ads can strike at any moment and come without warning. These are especially annoying when you’re trying to follow dialogue and suddenly you’ve got Charlie Sheen walking on screen promoting the season finale for his latest show. Let’s just cut to the chase: no one watches “Two and a Half Men.”
Until recently, YouTube was a nice little getaway, free from advertising. In the last year however, advertisements have begun playing before every popular video you watch, some of them longer than the video itself (Google is an advertising agency anyways, right?). This is perhaps one of the least-targeted forms of advertising imaginable; what make advertisers believe that just because I enjoy watching cats do funny things on YouTube, that i am also interested in purchasing a new Honda Accord.?
If ever a sign-up form asks you for your telephone number, be wary of what should invariably follow Often times unscrupulous websites will collect cell phone numbers and blast them with repeated SMS text ads for weeks on end. You can usually opt out of receiving these messages, but the problem comes when your phone number is sold to countless other partners, and soon every time you check your phone you’re being asked if you want to lower your bills or apply for a payday loan. It’s even worse when you’re waiting on a text from someone, and every ten minutes your phone buzzes with an ad for services and products you couldn’t care less about.
Where do college music majors go when they just aren’t good enough to make it in Hollywood? Radio advertising seems to be the popular career choice for these wanna-be rock stars, but time and time again we are reminded of why they can’t make it on their own. Singing entire songs about the great deals at the local Ford dealership or about how delicious the burgers are at McDonalds these days, the irritating commercials are painful at best, and downright embarrassing at worst. Try as they might, companies can never make fast food or roofing services seem edgy and “rock-and-roll”, and for the most part we are all tired of their silly attempts.
These days, most mainstream email accounts come ready-made with SPAM filters that keep all those bogus offers out of our in-boxes. The fact that most of us see our SPAM folder flood over the course of a week and then empty it all in one shot forces us to wonder, “is SPAM even a profitable marketing channel anymore?” How many of us log-in to check out Grandma’s new Flickr account and suddenly decide to”BuY ViAgRa 4 ChEaP”?….from a pharmacy based in Tijuana? SPAM is untargeted, practically useless, and just plain annoying.