Friday, March 21, 2008

Apple Ad - Cool or Disruptive - or Both?

Apple has a new Mac vs. PC ad on doing a comparison of operating systems (Vista and Leopard).

From a technology stand point it's very cool and innovative - that shouldn't be surprising coming from Apple. The skyscraper on the right automatically plays a video when you land on the NY Times homepage. The "PC Guy" realizes that there's bad press on the Vista OS in the top banner so he does an "Emergency Banner Refresh" to update the ad (this is the cool and innovative part - the top banner and the side skyscraper banner are tied together and the top banner actually refreshes on queue to show a new ad).

Although it's a cool ad I think it's a little annoying and it's not inline with the whole "Web 2.0" movement of being integrated versus interruptive. I actually don't like when the ads play automatically. When I visit the NY Times website I'm there to get a news update. If the ad were related to what was on the page it wouldn't be as annoying - for example if I were reading an article about operating systems I would likely value what Mr. PC and Mr. Mac had to say but if I'm going to the site for an update about the elections its just distracting.

Now this is Apple and the cool factor lets them get away with more but I'm interested to find out how the general public reacts to this type of advertising.


smj said...

Ads that play automatically are the single most effective way to create hatred toward the brand/entity responsible, in my experience -- but then, I'm just a consumer. Roll-over ads that expand automatically to fill the frame or screen are outright abusive, and cause me to shun sites that serve them.

Ah, but what do I know. I'm one of those fools who thinks a viable micropayment system would have allowed for a pay-to-play option for content on the web that many consumers would have embraced. It certainly looks to me like the $XX-per-month subscription models have failed for the sites that tried to employ them.

Apple's image and reputation does let them get away with a lot -- I've been amused and indulgent the first time I see a new Apple ad on a site. But it fades by the third or fourth time the same ad is served.

Anonymous said...

The ad was distracting? In other words, it worked.

Anonymous said...

You really should have mentioned that, while the ad starts playing automatically, it does so muted, giving the user the option to hear the ad or ignore it. For me, this makes the ad reasonably unobtrusive and not nearly as annoying as you've suggested.

I do agree with you, however, that the ad is very clever, and well executed. Funny too.

LaSandra Brill said...

Good point David. The ad does start off muted which does make it less disruptive. I've also since noticed that after viewing the same page a few times the ad doesn't automatically play - they have "cookie" intelligence to stop it from playing after so many visits - in fact I now see a modifed ad all together. Another point worth mentioning...

Black Zedd said...


Marketers have started revolutionizing the way they advertise, and in a broader perspective, monetize their offering.

Interesting to mention, the ads goliath, Google, refuse to intensively incorporate overlay ads in Youtube videos for fear of intrusions into their users' experience.

They prefer to hold any serious monetization effort just to keep their user happy.

It's a great principle for other advertisers to follow, but a tough one too..considering how deep Google's coffer is.