The Arms Race

  • The Arms Race

    There have been a few articles lately on product placement and now one on interactive ads coming to various media outlets, primarily television, as advertisers struggle to cope with digital technologies such as TiVo and their impact on viewers' habits.

    We've made a few changes here lately that likewise have been testing the boundaries of advertising with our "double underline" experiment in July and August as well as the "Page Peel" advertisement in September. Those changes weren't made lightly as we three personally don't like advertising that's too intrusive. But we are also running a business and want to increase revenue as well as ensure that the vendors that support us and the community can communicate with you.

    So with that in mind, the poll is...

    Is advertising getting too annoying?

    The quick and easy answer is "yes" though I'd like you to think for more than a second. I have a TiVo and it's how I watch much of my media, mostly because I need things time shifted. When they're on, I'm often busy, so being able to defer entertainment to late at night or another day is key. But it means that I fast forward through commercials and it's annoying to watch the nonsense even at high speed.

    But I've found that some ads get me to stop and check them out. I've even rewound the show sometimes to watch an ad again. Admittedly most ads aren't that interesting, but some are and are worth watching.

    And more importantly, as I pay attention, I find myself getting information from ads. I learn about new products and new possibilities though I admit that I don't really believe the ads. I still need to research things myself, but I do like seeing a good advertisement.

    Steve Jones

  • I love my Sky Plus TV system because it's so easy to record stuff and then fast-forward through the ads.  Sometimes, if I want to watch something when it's actually on (as opposed to recording it and watching it later), I'll record the first 10 minutes and then start watching the recording so I can still fast-forward through the ads.

    If an ad being viewed in FF makes me stop the FF to watch it, then it must be doing something right.  I don't mind that, because good ads are sometimes better than the shows themselves.

    Overall though, the ability to skip ads is an absolute joy.  Not only does it mean you don't have to watch pointless drivel, but it also reduces your viewing time too, freeing up more time for other stuff.

    As an aside, I've just come back from a two week holiday to the US.  You need to get your advert makers to get a sense of humour and/or style

  • Advertsing plays an important role in modern life and the fact that you guys have ads on each page doesn't really bother me. What would bother me is if you used pop ups to get my attention, etc. I click on the odd banner ad now and then when it interests me, and in my opinion that's what an ad should be doing. Quietly sitting there hoping someone will spot it, otherwise it's just an annoyance and I'll ignore the ad if it's 'thrown in my face'.

    Besides, your ads are all related to something that I might find useful and your site is invaluable to me as a user of MSSQL, so as long as you're not advertising cigarettes, useless trinkets, holiday resorts (unless those resorts are offering free PC's ),etc  then I say, "Keep on keepin' on" with your ads

  • Ads in the internet on websites doesn't bother me much. They just take a click to skip them or you just don't look at them.

    What really bothers me are ads on TV and on radio. The massive advertising there (currently around 12 minutes per hour on TV and radio plus ads for other shows/movies on that station) is really annoying.

    Just imagine: You're watching a 2-hour-movie on TV, but you're sitting there for about two-and-a-half hours because of massive ads you're not interested in. Every twenty minutes the movie "takes a break" and you're watching the same commercials over and over again that you've seen for the last months...

    That's why my TV-time has dropped extremely to perhaps 15 minutes a day (only news). It's too annoying. There is no pleasant watching of a movie possible.

  • A big part of our ad strategy from the beginning was to make sure they reflected products and services we thought would be of general interest to the community. The line is a bit gray and I'm sure we stepped over it once or twice. The biggest downside to that stategy is that there are limited number of vendors in the space and they don't rotate ads as often as we'd like, so sometimes the advertising gets a little stale.

  • Some advertising is entertaining, the saving grace of the whole commercial experience. My wife and I have turned on the Super Bowl to watch the commercials, muting the game and doing other things during the actual play. The Super Bowl commercials can be very entertaining.

  • We have all seen ads on TV that we loved.  What bothers me is that there are so many that just take up air time and the advertisers expect us to set through them.  My TiVo keeps me happy and I do occasionally scan for ads that intertain or at least inform me on a topic of interest.

    Why can't the ad agencies see that entertaining ads do so much more for the client than the boring junk that most produce

  • If only the advertisers would put the same creativity into "every day ads" that they put into the Superbowl ads.

    I don't watch much TV, but there are several ads in my area that are extremely irritating.  One is for a local radio station, and is just people's butts shaking.  If you turn the sound off, it's really gross to watch  (IMHO)

    I don't ususally mind ads, because they pay the bills, but bad ads are annoying.  On the flip side, a good ad is engaging (like the Budwiser one with the colt trying to pull the big wagon, and the two big horses quietly pushing it from behind) - you enjoy watching it, even if you will never use the product (I don't like beer, but I love horses).

    As for ads on websites (this one included), I don't mind if they're not intrusive - which here they are not (although I've gotten that page-peel one activated more than once by accident, but now that I figured out how to stick it back down...  )   I DON'T like the ads on some sites that are constantly moving or blinking while I'm trying to read an article - they are annoying and distracting, and because of that I will NEVER click on one.

    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

  • I also find all moving/flashing ads very irritating and distracting. They make it more difficult to read the material of interest. I use Firefox with the Adblock and Flashblock extensions to clean up bothersome web pages.

  • As far as internet advertising goes, I don't mind it as long as it is relevant to the content I am looking at and doesn't distract me from getting the information I was looking for in the first place. As an example, I just started a new DBA job and was looking to get a backup compression package. My first thought was LiteSpeed but I saw an ad on this site for Red Gate so I took a look at their offering as well. Had I not seen the ad, I probably would have just went with the name I knew but after evaluating three products, the best fit for our needs was the Red Gate product. In this case the advertisement was relevant and even helped me out.

    TV ads tend to annoy me so I channel surf a lot. There isn't anything on TV that is compelling enough for me to get a DVR although it would be nice to be able to go back and watch a goal that I missed while surfing through several hockey games. If I do run into a commercial that is entertaining I will stop and watch it. I don't know how much it affects my shopping habits since I am pretty good at comparison shopping but, like the situation above, if it lets me know about something I am interested in but didn't know about then I don't see a problem with it.

    Let it be known that I love SQL Server Central and the adverts would have to be pretty darn annoying before I quit coming back! You guys are doing great and you're welcome to experiment on me some more if you feel like it

    [font="Tahoma"]Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD[/font]
    Business Intelligence Administrator
    MSBI Administration Blog

  • Regarding the double underline experiment, I have found in general that the 'links' were utterly useless -- completely unconnected to the double underline topic or the article itself.  If they are a good source of revenue for you guys then I would go for it, though, because they are the least intrusive of all the ad-types I have seen.  DL

  • Ads generate revenue which then allow us to access this site for free. I gave up on the site a long time ago, because everytime I tried to click on a link, I would receive a full-page ad that I would have to click through. The most annoying is when the article is split up with ads for other sites.

    So, although I find the flash distracting somewhat, I support what you do, as I doubt I could get my company to pay for a subscription to this site.


  • Call me archaic ...


    Anything animated <PERIOD> No matter what you are doing your subconcious mind still reads it if it is in your field of vision. It also causes eye-jitters. By this I mean your eyes dart back and forth rapidly between the animation and what you are actually trying to focus on.

    Anytime the page is less than 80% of what the web site is dedicated to.



    Sounds do not bother me because I turn audio off unless I'm on a webcast.

    RegardsRudy KomacsarSenior Database Administrator"Ave Caesar! - Morituri te salutamus."

  • Some adds are ok.  Geico for example, those are amusing.  But the vast majority of them appear to be aimed at someone with an IQ of 65.  What’s with that?  Unfortunately, those also seem to be the ones they repeat endlessly.  I make it a point NOT to buy those products.  Even the good ones aren’t effective.  I had Geico insurance once many years ago… never again.  The only adds that seem to work are the food ones.  I call it food porn.  Even those don’t work as intended though (at least for me).  I wouldn’t eat KFC if you put a gun to my head, but after watching enough KFC adds I will decide it’s time I made some fried chicken.

  • "Is advertising getting too annoying?"

    Here are my humble opinions:

    1. As someone who was a teenager in the 1980s, I still think that era had the best TV ads. Some modern ads are good, but for the most part they are too self-conscious in trying to be funny or cute. In terms of effect, though, I almost never watch TV ads to see whether I want to get something. Most things advertised - especially cars - are too expensive anyway, or I'd never use them. The ads are mostly entertainment in themselves or a chance to break away and do something that's actually productive until the show returns.

    2. I find some print and web ads useful in terms of things I would get (books, software, music, etc.), but most are mildly annoying. Usually I just ignore them, though.

    3. I think ads are inherently biased (ignoring or downplaying negatives), so I rarely trust getting information from them. I think Consumer Reports and word of mouth are better.

    A SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables. He walks up to them and asks, "Can I join you?"

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