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Posted by on Oct 16, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Splash Ads and Traffic Jams

Nothing is worse than the feeling of being late and getting stuck in traffic. We’ve all been there and that feeling of helplessness and nervousness is always a stomach-turner. It’s about trying to get from point a to point b and something is trying to hold you back.

When I’m trying to find an article on the web and I run into a splash page ad, I get a tinge of stuck-in-traffic frustration. Someone put a roadblock in my way and though I have to spend a second or two trying to find the “skip this ad” button, it is an inconvenience. Every time I go to that website it gives me the option to skip the ad, which is an oxymoron to begin with. Just blocking my way to the content I’m looking for does not let me skip the ad–it is forced upon me.

It’s almost like saying, “Want to buy a car? I’m Andy, by the way.” It’s cheap and starts the relationship off on the wrong foot. Unless the splash page is incredibly interesting, it is an inconvenience and tries to sell me something before I can even enter the site.

Ultimately, most people do not like roadblocks. If you’re trying to go somewhere and you add an extra, unnecessary step to block them from getting to their destination, it starts the brand / user relationship off on the wrong foot. This disruptive way of thinking might have been possible when only a couple of channels were available on TV. People were forced to watch advertisements.

Unlike the early days of TV, in the digital age, if it’s news or a fact I’m looking for, I have choices. It’s easy to work around one website because most likely, I can find the information elsewhere. Case-in-point, creating a roadblock does your brand no favors.

Though advertisers might pay-up, ultimately you’re creating a small annoyance for your customers. If there are a lot of alternatives to your product, you might want to think about the long-term ramifications of creating roadblocks.

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