Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pop Up Ad Marketing

Pop up ads. You know the ones I mean. You're having a casual surf, reading the news or the gossip, something that's up to date in terms of content, and POP goes an ad. That's not blocked by your pop-up blocker. The makers of the ad have kindly put in a big X to help show you how to CLOSE the WINDOW because you may NOT actually be interested in whatever promotion they happen to be running at the time.

And when you click the X, what happens? You are brought to their website. You click the "CLOSE" and what happens? You are brought to their website.

How irritating is that? I know it'll go away after a few seconds but I just hate it when I try to scroll away from it - and it follows! Very clever designing, hats off, but go away!!

It has happened to me most recently on and to name but two, and it is just irritating! Most of the time, these ad campaigns are organised by agencies, rather than the company themselves. So you can't blame Aer Lingus or HB Ice-Cream, or Heineken - can you? They think they're getting lots of hits on their websites as a result of this uber-expensive (no doubt!) campaign, when really it is just the pee'd off public trying to get rid of the ad off their screen when they're perusing the newspapers on their teabreak! Grrrr. Is that an unethical business practice or what? I think it's wrong. Would be interested in hearing what everyone else thinks.


  1. Oh MJ, at the risk of being unpopular, well, there's two things here.

    Firstly, yes, they're damn annoying, and if you click "close" the thing should close and that's that. The ones that redirect you to their website are just plain wrong.

    But sometimes - just sometimes - they can redirect you to something nice. Like a money off voucher for Ben & Jerry's, or free movie tickets or something.

    I'm not sure what the best way of grabbing someone's attention is online any more - it's not to annoy, but relying on people to find the content doesn't seem to work either...

    I think advertisers are seeing a lot more that hits/views do not make conversions and that simply showing someone something doesn't mean they'll remember or interact with it. That's why some websites are becoming desperate enough to have pop-ups in the first case.

    Yours is a great point, well made :)

  2. I find most advertising distasteful, to be quite honest, and pop-ups are one of the worst forms of it. Particularly as they often contain spyware.
    Are you aware that there's loads of programs out there to block pop-ups. Just get a Google toolbar and that should do it. Or follow this link if you want more info on it

  3. Thank you both for your comments! I have the anti-popup blocker so these are not new windows that come up, they are little bubble-like things in the shape of their product or marketing message, it's like they're part of the page... Will new fandangled pop-up-blockers work for them!? Hope so...

  4. hi MJ,

    my two cents, being on the client side...

    I'm pretty sure most clients know if they are signing off pop ups. My understanding these days is most Irish websites don't allow pop ups anymore, but do allow rich media.

    On saying that, best practice is that the rich media shouldn't move or take over the page unless initiated by the website user. And most page takeovers should be capped so any individual should only see it once or twice, not every time they visit the site.

    Any ad that doesn't close when asked is doing the brand no favours at all - and should not be accepted by websites to be honest. I'm surprised this still happens.

    Darragh, on your point about welcoming the ad if it brings a benefit e.g. voucher - this is a good one. To be completely honest, most advertising on any media is interrupting by its nature (there are exceptions). Brands need to do their best to make sure that the ads are relevant to the audience and hopefully say something of interest...or at the least make you smile.

    It's a bit like the quote "advertising is the uninvited quest - he better be entertaining or interesting"

    Advertising online can work. But it is not very efficient. On saying that, this is often the case on off line media too.