How should online deliver ' the message '

With video becoming more and more prevalent through the web questions are starting to be raised as to how best deliver advertising messages to people in a medium , which is very different from TV. The argument goes that online people are actively engaging, they are in a non passive mode therefore delivering adverts such a as a 30 second spot will not be as effective ( inefficient as it may be ) as through traditional broadcast means. CNET and Google are starting to deliver video which is either inter dispersed with adverts , or are ‘ topped and tailed ‘ with adverts – however is the is really the most effective way of engaging the customer – does this represent real value for money for advertisers and how much thought actually goes into ensuring messages are compatible with the content on screen.

A recent article in the Media Guardian highlighted the issue with broadcast , highlighting a plight which online suffers from – wrongly

It outlines the recent events surrounding the final demise of Sadaam Hussein , the build up and events of his hanging being then interrupted by a ‘ cheery advert to by a sofa “ – a prime example of “jarring and a bit insensitive “.

Along with giving other examples of McDonalds adverts being run next to childhood obesity in the press, they make the interesting point as the demarcation of adverts becomes more blurred due to shorter and shorter messages being squeezed in between programming - that we are not given enough time to make the shift between entertainment and promotion.
This coupled with the increase in content driven promotion, such as the recent Audi TV channel and the fact that most TV productions now carry forms of in program sponsorship and branding – is it not true that we no longer truly realise when we are / are not being advertised – the entire viewing experience now is one long advert.

How best to approach this for the web - “contextually targeted, demo-targeted, frequency capped and combined with a companion piece”

Bradley Werner’s comments ( ) above he highlights one of the keys lies in the context. I would argue though simple segmentation to decide on what type of adverts to display does not go far enough ( even though this would be a great start , advertisers have to realise that simply picking high volume traffic sites may not be the best route ) .

More time and effort should be spent on analysing empirical browsing habits from the session. From this you could determine both the context and also the frequency and type of advertisements to display – varying from banner adverts which are functional and could be displayed as a shopping cart after the programming or indeed adding promotional content to the piece (which could vary in terms of message and length) knowing or at least having a good indication, that the content piece is valuable enough in this instance to attach such messages for this particular person. In essence building a profile and then deciding upon what could be tolerated and be useful to the viewer.

From a supposed interactive medium we should expect and deliver a more meaningful dialogue.

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