Bilkul Pakka ads by Flipkart are brilliant

India has the second largest online population (at 354 million), beating that of the United States (at 266 million). We are still miles to go from China’s 650 million.

However, with the largest population based in the world, and with the highest rate of Internet penetration in the developing countries, India is seen by many online businesses as the geography to target.

There are the naysayers and folks who debunk the entire populace as freebie seekers and saying that thirld world economies are not there yet. However, when it comes to e-commerce, India clearly has shown great traction.

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Responsibility and Liberty in Advertisements

Airtel recently (March 2016) launched a series of Television Commercials (TVCs) bringing out the benefits of it’s 4G network.

This followed by a slew of Ads featuring the Airtel 4G Girl (if you don’t know who, then Google this). So now, apart from claiming a lifetime of free telephone bills (I don’t know how many people did attempt the Airtel 4G Challenge), the new set of advertisements talk about how broad and wide the reach is of the Airtel 4G network.

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Internet Marketing and Your Business

If you own a business, you may or may not know a lot about internet marketing. Internet marketing is an extremely important part of growing your business these days, yet too many business owners don’t realise how important. They think that by handing out a few business cards, they can grow their business and make more money. I’m afraid not! Read on to learn more about internet marketing and your business!

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Are Interstitial Ads “successful” due to fat-fingers?

Folks who have worked in launching mobile marketing campaigns would be familiar with the term Interstitial Ads.

What are Interstitial Ads?

Those pesky ads which take up the entire screen space in the middle of an app or a website. Yes, the ones which block the content underneath and make you click on the small cross in some corner of the ad.

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A month without Ad Block

As a person who literally lives off the internet, one of the first things I do when I get a new machine is install Chromium or Chrome and then go and install the Ad Block Plus plug-in. Fortunately, I am well past Windows, so I do not have to go to the trouble of removing IE!

Having said that, I thought, it would be interesting to see the world from the eyes of a non-power user and see the internet with it’s full glory … yes without an Ad Blocker!

How to Get Ad Blockers

For those of you who are new to this term – Ad Blockers, these are small plug-ins within your browser that stop Ads from displaying on any of the sites you visit. Those elements are not rendered at all! I strongly recommend Ad Block for this purpose.

Just follow the simple instructions on the link provided, and voila! No Ads … you can thank me later .. the web will be a different place for you. But enough of that, this is about seeing those Ads.

A World with Ads

As someone who runs Ads on his blog, I still do not bother to see Ads .. why? Because a lot of these Ads are poorly made … very few Ads these days are awesome enough to catch your eye or even better make you click! Why do we require Ads? Well to pay for all this cost of content creation of course!

Mainstream Media does it all the time! Why cannot the Internet follow suit? Put up Ads, write content, generate traffic … the simplest formula in the series of crazy get rich schemes :-)

What Prompted me to do this?

Sheer curiosity of checking how the Media agencies of the world are creating Ads was one. Some of the clients I was working with wanted to run Ads and I wanted to see how the Ads are going with the design of the site was another.

The third reason was the most important. I believe that users (yes, that’s you and me!) develop a certain immunity towards unpleasant experiences over time. Ads are generally ignored .. users learn to ignore them as time goes by, click through rates (CTRs) drop … that’s why it’s so important to keep changing your creatives!

The month starts!

I did this experiment in the month of February and ran it through till the middle of March. A little over 40 days. What did I observe? Well there are beautiful ads (naah, not Cilory ;-)), and the blockers are removing a bit more of the mark-up. Quite a lot of times an otherwise empty page suddenly looks fuller due to these display ads.

For e.g the Facebook layout looks marginally better with Ads. However, with Ads such as these, I’d still start running the blocker.

Ads on Facebook

I do not see how this creative is adding to building a list of leads!

Social Media networks were fine, the worst places I experienced without an Ad Blocker were surprisingly not Pr0n sites, but gaming sites! The sheer amount of wtf-ery in Ads that I saw on gaming sites was outstanding.

What took the cake was an Ad by Gurudas Kamat on my own blog asking for support in elections. Ughhh … one quick shift to Adsense and I blocked the entire category out. That Ad shook me :-) … I prompty turned out the Ad Blocker.

Conclusion

Before I experienced the internet without an Ad Blocker, I was happily running multiple Ads on my own site. After those 40 days, I trimmed down the number of Ads (I believe there are two simple Ads in the sidebar and thats that).

Setting up advertising to bear the cost of content creation is good, but if it is destroying the user experience (HBR are you listening?), is a no-no.

Video

Sex in Advertising

If you have seen the latest GoDaddy Ads, then you will understand what I am talking about. I had posted this great Ad from BMW which uses sex but pulls it off quite nicely. Having said that, now take a look at the GoDaddy Ads –

How the massage, and the masseuse stripping off to bear the GoDaddy logo really brings out their hosting plans and domain registry services is a mystery to me. What is interesting to note is that the ads typically leave off by saying to view more go to their site. On checking out the full ads, the advertisement goes on to talk about the different features of the GoDaddy offerings.

Effectively, the ads that were shown on television were simply to generate traffic on their site. Again an example of one media relying on another media for it’s business. This really does not bode well with me (despite being a GoDaddy customer for the past 4 years now). This traffic is also assuming that people want to view more of Danica or GoDaddy.

I wonder if some data were obtained on their traffic and conversion data post after the campaign launched. I’d wager that the traffic would increase, but the conversion rate would go down.

What do you good folks think?

On Second thoughts

Since the video in the advertisement keeps changing, I am forced to keep updating this post. Since then, several such ads have been shown. There is a Danica and Shower ad as well, search on YouTube and you will find it.

It would seem that the marketing team at GoDaddy has found some correlation between fans of Danica Patrick, young teenagers and customers who buy website domains. Whereas the ads promise further titillation on the website. There might even be a good correlation.