Ignoring users is bad business

Nate Elliott of Jupiter Research has written a nice piece for MediaPost’s Rich Media Insider that gives an excellent analysis of rich media advertising. In providing his insight into the deal that put two disparate ad companies together (Viewpoint and Unicast), Nate reveals the harsh reality encountered when trying to get too fancy with Internet advertising.

Even with an enviable roster of advertisers — including consumer packaged goods firms, Hollywood studios, and auto manufacturers — Unicast simply hasn’t been able to achieve the volume needed to make their business work.

The problem is that superstitials and video commercials are incredibly invasive. That’s great for advertisers, because it forces consumers to pay attention and helps generate brand lift. But it’s not as good for consumers, who don’t always enjoy having their browsing interrupted.

I also don’t think consumers like the “polite downloads” of Unicast and others who load content onto your hard drive unawares so that it can “play” seamlessly. I’ve written before about how ESPN uses this with their video, which I dropped when they refused to give me control over what played and when.

I’ve said it here ad nauseaum. The user is in charge on the Internet, and the rules of mass marketing don’t apply.

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