Pretty much everyone over the age of 25 was raised on interruption advertising. Commercial break during television programmes or radio shows, billboards rearing up on your commute, press and magazine ads in between the news and sport you’re reading. That model of advertising has been used online too. Banners, page takeovers and pop-ups are ubiquitous, even Adwords are trying to catch your eye when you’re looking for something. Watch most You-Tube videos and you’ll have to see at least a few seconds of a commercial first. Re-targeting means we can even interrupt you with advertising for something you’ve shown an interest in before. Interrupting is what our industry knows how to do well.
So what would happen to our industry and our clients if we couldn’t interrupt? Well we might be about to find out. Google Contributor was launched recently in beta mode and it’s a scheme that aims to remove advertising from the internet, or at least the parts carrying Google placed advertising, and that’s quite a lot.
If you’ll pay between $1 and $3 a month (yip, US Dollars for now) it’ll remove all the ads from the websites you visit that currently carry advertising from the Google network. It’s a trial just now, only available in America and on limited websites. The websites involved are well known though and get high traffic. The basic idea is Google will give the websites a cut of the $1 to $3 to help fund them rather than a cut of the advertising revenue they get now.
This isn’t a new idea, there are a few websites that already offer a version of this, The Guardian for example. Despite this thousands of people still choose to use the ‘free’ Guardian though, interruptive advertising and all.
I’m not sure how successful this will be. The idea that the internet is ‘free’ is fairly well ingrained in many people now. Even for Google convincing people to hand over relatively small sums of money won’t be an easy sell. However, if they can find a way to have it collected by the people who we’re currently already paying, such as your mobile or broadband provider, then the advertising industry might have a problem.
If it is successful then we can look forward to a golden age of creativity as some of the industries top minds try to figure out how to get products and services in front of consumers.