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TechCrunch Makes Mistake With Banner Ads?

Have you visited TechCrunch today? Did you notice that really annoying 125×125 animated ad that just went up? What the…?

I’m not sure why Michael Arrington would think this is a good thing to allow on his site. Having six 125×125 ads on your blog is fine – we all need to make money – but they are only tolerated because they don’t annoy, i.e. they’re not animated.

Now that TechCrunch has allowed one animated ad, will it allow the other 5 to use animation? Can you imagine the user-experience at TechCrunch if you have 6 animated banner ads waiving at you from above the fold?

I think animated ads can work in moderation on a blog, but I’m never going to allow an animated 125×125 on this site, as I respect my readers too much – that is, I want y’all to come back!

What do you think? I know the TechCrunch guys read Marketing Pilgrim, so let them know what you think of the animation. Do you love it or hate it?

  • http://www.thejasonmurphyshow.com Jason Murphy

    Andy,

    I saw the this morning before I came here and read this post. I even clicked the ad too. Which was odd, because I usually don’t click ads. Like a fly heading towards the zapper light, it just happened. I don’t know why. I feel so taken-advantage-of. Guilty. Ashamed. I wasn’t drunk. Perhaps I was a mind zombie. And hypnotized! Arlington is evil! He’s got us all in his trap! Everybody RUN! Oh man do I feel dirty. I need a support group.

    Seriously, I did click. I wonder what the CTR is on that ad compared to the TLA one. I wonder if the advertiser had to pay a premium for an animation. If an advertiser offered a significant % (double?) to place an effective animated ad in one of your spots, would you take it. I know I would. That would also keep the other advertisers from whining about their media buy. I’d be able to respond that “Advertiser X paid a premium for animation. If you’d like the same, you must fork over the premium. Wink. Wink.”

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    There’s no doubt it stands out from the others. I really don’t think I would want 4 animated ads on my blog – it would piss off the readers, who either wouldn’t click or worse, stop reading.

    Only way it might work, is if I displayed just one ad -instead of 4 – and let that one advertiser use animation. That one ad would cost more than the 4 spots combined. Anyone interested? ;-)

  • http://www.evankroberts.com Evan

    there is no doubt the CTR on that ad today is going to be huge, but after that I assume it will flatline like the others. People will notice it now, but like most other banner ads, will subconsciously block them out. 6 of them would be insane!

  • http://microsoft.blognewschannel.com/ Nathan Weinberg

    Funny thing, but I right clicked on all the ads to see which were Flash and which were just images, and TechCrunch’s click tracker (measuremap, which is also strange) was recording my clicks (which I could see because Opera shows you that sort of stuff). Stupid poorly-working script that’s probably going to make TC 5-ad clicks worth of extra money. How does it now know the difference between a left-click and a right-click?

  • Steve

    Andy – I think you’re over-reacting to this. Like others have said, it will probably increase clickthrough rates and that’s what it’s all about. If your advertisers know that they will see better results from an animated ad and you won’t put it up, they are going to go elsewhere (such as TechCrunch).

    I will admit that there should be a looping limit of 15 seconds or less as well as a defined border around the ad.

  • http://www.jasonblogs.com Jason Schramm

    I haven’t visited TechCrunch in months. It had nothing to do with their ads and everything to do with that horrible new site layout they moved to.

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog.html kelvin newman

    I think on its own in isolation its not so bad, though I can definately see 6 of them being a little overwhelming.

    I think the length of the loop and the animation itself can easily vary between good and bad. So its the quality of the add rather than the animation implicitly.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    I agree that the ad will get many more click-thrus than the static ads, but at some point the ads will become annoying – especially if there is more than one. Limiting the animation would be a good thing – why not have advertisers submit both an animated and static version of their ad, then TC could alternate the ads, showing just one animated ad on each page refresh.

  • Steve

    Andy – I think your suggestion would be the best way to handle the situation.