I was excited to watch a story about NASA’s new space telescope. So, I clicked on the link and the screen filled with images of…an insurance company ad. And no way to stop it.
Sorry Flo, that’s not how to win my business.
We don’t buy products because we’re forced to watch an ad. While we’re zen masters at zapping them out, pre-roll video ads are ‘un-skippable’. We can ignore a print ad or punch out a radio spot. But these ads hold us hostage – and there’s no escape. Your video will play after this ad. Sure, it’s disrespectful. Too bad, just watch it.
Media writer Jon Sinton warns of a sea change “where viewers are no longer delivered to advertisers. Now, advertisers are delivered to viewers.” Companies are desperate to invade our cell phones. So, un-skippable ads are all the rage. Some will argue that aggressive marketing is just smart business.
Nope. This crosses the line where goodwill turns bad.
Here’s my take. The best ads seduce us and create intrigue. But pre-roll spots are a blunt force object. We’re held captive and left without an exit ramp. Do the right thing and allow us to bail out after 5 seconds if we’re not interested – and use that precious time to show how you’ll make our lives better.
Ideally, advertisers should embrace what Seth Godin called permission marketing, “delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want them.” Permission marketing is grounded in respect. Like the best relationships, first build trust and make a personal connection. It’s kind of like dating. You don’t meet someone, drop your pants and force yourself on them.
Show a little class.