Adds, SMH and Itchy Balls
Wow, animated gif adds on websites are getting so distracting it’s becoming offensive. I have always been a strong opponent (as some would know well) of adds that lie, bend the truth, or intrude on my life.
It’s this latter one I’m pissed off about right now. The most intrusive adds are the people standing around on the street asking for donations:
“Hi, I’m from SickKidsNeedCashDotCom. Do you have a minute?”
“No, as you can see, I’m not slowing my pace as I stride down the mall.”
“That’s OK, I’ll just run alongside you. Would you like to donate?”
“No thanks. Piss off.”
“Oh. OK. Can I ask why?”
“Can you ask why? Can you fucking ask why?!? I’M WALKING THROUGH THE FUCKING MALL ON MY MEASLY FIFTEEN MINUTE LUNCH BREAK TO BUY ANTI CROTCH-FUNGUS CREAM AND YOU’RE ASKING ME WHY? I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE COLLECTING MONEY TO HOOK ME UP ON A DATE WITH PARIS HILTON’S EVEN SEXIER SECRET THIRD SISTER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – I’LL CHOOSE WHEN AND WHERE I DONATE MY HARD-EARNED MONEY AND IT SURE AS TIDDLEY-WINKS ISN’T HERE AND NOW. WANT TO DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR SOCIETY? STICK YOUR HAND DOWN MY PANTS AND SCRATCH!
<pause for shocked silence>
Anyhoo, the reason this type of advertising is so obtrusive is that it’s unavoidable – don’t like the billboard? Look away. Hate that TV add? Mute, or better yet, turn the box off. The rules are simple. Make adds as dumb, loud, whatever as you please, but never ever cross the line of forcing them on me. Sydney Morning Herald website is getting dangerously close to violating this dotcommandment. SMH has always had big square animated adds all over its articles, but the newest ones – especially that vertical up-and-down whiz-bang virgin blue velocity add is really really really in-your-face. It’s distracting and attention commanding. The problem is – I can’t look away. I’m trying to read the adjacent article. I actually found myself placing an envelope against the screen to physically block my view of the add while I read the article. Is this too strong for an add? Is it too attention-grabbing? I think it is. Your thoughts?
Oh, by the way, I just invented ‘dotcommandment’. It’s way cool.