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An open letter to content providers and advertisers [Jun. 30th, 2016|06:13 pm]
Look. I'm sympathetic. Really, I am. When I watch YouTube videos, I let the entire ad run even after the "Skip ad" button appears, because I know that your continued content relies on eyes on those ads.

But if those ads are more than 45 seconds? Yeah, no. We're done here. In fact, I need to REALLY like you to give you a full 45. Advertisers, if you can't get your message across in 20 seconds, the company you're working for should freakin' fire your pathetic butt.

This rant is brought to you by a day on my work computer. I don't have any ad-blocker software on that computer, because I generally only access about four sites from that computer. But today I happened to need to find a video online.

Oh. My Freaking. Stars. Pop-ups, ads so large they choke the download of anything else, multiple ads before the video could start.

No. Just, no. I closed everything down, gave up on finding the video I wanted, and from now on I will only search from behind the protection of ad blockers.

You have no right to lament over your lost revenue when you aren't bothering to consider your viewer experience. Piling on more crap to make up for the lost revenue just drives the understanding consumer away.

Pay attention to content, and make a deal with your readers that you will never run popup ads, never auto-start advertising videos, and vet all your ads for malware. Then maybe we'll come back. I don't mind an ad along the side offering products I might be interested in. Even an ad along the top, though it will make me roll my eyes, won't trigger my anger reflex.

But the crap I experienced today? I'm not coming back to your sites because of it. Figure your junk out.

[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2016-06-30 10:52 pm (UTC)
I directed a similar rant at hulu. Yes, now they have a more expensive subscription that is supposedly ad free, but when we first signed up and saw commercial after commercial, thrown in at the most random of moments? We thought our subscription was broken.

Edited at 2016-06-30 10:53 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2016-07-01 12:13 pm (UTC)
We don't Hulu often, but when we do we have to be prepared for the stupidity.
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2016-07-01 03:28 am (UTC)
Don't blame the marketing people for those 45 second ads. We hate writing them more than you hate watching them.

The reason they exist is that companies have no clue how the creative process works.

When I'm creating an online ad - either text or video - 99 percent of my time is spent researching the product and company and their competition and then tossing ideas back and forth with rome girl. Then the actual writing of the thing takes almost zero time - and in fact writing a 45 second ad takes nearly an identical amount of time as a 15 or 20 second ad.

But, companies think the length of the ad is indictative of how much time you spent writing it. So they'll pay you more than twice as much for a 45 second ad as they will for a 20 second one.

So, guess what you do? If I can make more than double with no real extra effort I'm going to do that - and the clients are always happier with the longer ads, even if you can show them that they lead to fewer click throughs.

If people handing me money want to be idiots that's their problem and I've given up fighting them on it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2016-07-01 12:12 pm (UTC)
I wish you could convince them that it actually takes MORE skill to write a concise ad than it does to write a bloated one that just pisses off consumers. Companies are stupid.
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2016-07-01 12:17 pm (UTC)
Very stupid.

Though to be fair after 16 years writing these things there really is no additional effort either way on length.

My brain thinks "20 second ad" and just "knows" how much to write. It's weird.

It's only when it gets up to five minute ads (yes, those fuckers exist) that it gets hard.

The really hard ones are the 29.5 minute ads - because there is no product in the world that is worth nearly 30 minutes of video ad.
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From: anonymousalex
2016-07-02 02:57 am (UTC)
Not just ads. If I had a nickel for every time I could have spent more time making my work more concise, but didn't because my client assumes volume = work = quality.

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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2016-07-02 12:30 am (UTC)
Preach it, girl.
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[User Picture]From: darksunlight
2016-07-02 01:33 pm (UTC)
And then you get the ads that yer trying to ignore, but it turns out someone has put an entire, 45 MINUTE tv show as the ad.
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