I have a pair of purple leggings. To the untrained eye, they are heinous: a gratuitous splash of color in a city full of dark jeans, ballet flats, and black crew jackets. But I wear them because I love them, and because I think they're effective – to complete the outfit, that is.
Now turn on the part of the your brain you haven't used since the SATs, or in strenous post-indie-movie conversation, and see the analogy here. Advertisers love their web ads. They love them so much that they're decreasing traditional ad spend and upping their online budgets. But what about consumers? Sure, we've seen studies that talk about the effectiveness of online ads – and that's really what we care about in the end – but what about sentiment?
A new Harris Interactive study (pdf) showed that the majority of consumers get frustrated and annoyed at certain types of online ads, with pop-ups, ads that are “moused over,” difficult-to-close ads, and musical ads as the worst offenders, MarketingCharts reports.
Harris concluded that "the growing
trend toward internet advertising in the face of large numbers of
frustrated consumers may eventually cause a backlash."
What are they going to do? March in the streets? No, worse: they're going to start ignoring web ads altogether – if they've not already done so.
I don't wear the purple wonders to piss people off – and (I would hope) marketers don't run campaigns with annoying ad types to do the same. They, just like everyone else, just want someone to notice them. But what would happen if we all started sporting purple suits? And hats? All day, every day? It's going to get old, and you're going to long for the nice, clean ad inventory of years past.