The recent Youtube ad fad of using our lack of patience as a marketing tool decimates my last nerve, as opposed to prying open my wallet.
Once upon a time, Planet YouTube was a peaceful place, where the inhabitants disagreed freely and all was well. Then the ads appeared, and zap!, intergalactic warfare. Initially, this invasion was tolerated, primarily because you could skip said ads entirely.
We adapted, made the best of it, everything seemed to stop developing. Some ads could be skipped, some couldn’t, but that was the way it was and it stayed that way for years. Cue a little while ago when some absolute dickwad discovered a way to mess around with the “skip ad button”. From that point on, things were different. They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence.
The first time we saw it, the guy in the ad was just referencing the fact that the button existed, it was a funny joke and we had a bit of a laugh. “Way to break the fourth wall, foreign invader of our patience”, we chortled. Trolololololol. Then things got a lot more…terminal. Some absolute douche-canoe figured out how to move the skip ad button, and I was so so enraged by the fact that the ad had me frantically trying to move the mouse around to find the button, all the while having no idea what the product actually was.
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After the red mist lifted and my annoyance abated, I figured everything seemed fine. But then a bunch of other advertisers thought doing tricks with the “skip ad” button would be fun too. The horror.
But then a bunch of other advertisers thought doing tricks with the “skip ad” button would be fun too.
Here’s the thing: copying another ad idea isn’t really going to win us over. It’s like when the Kit Kat ads on Facebook had the man guy facing the screen and waving to get your attention while text on the screen said: “turn the volume up”. It’s a good original idea, but if someone else does it, it stops being original. Maybe we chuckled the first time but it definitely wasn’t worth copying ad infinitum (pun intended).
I recently witnessed a scratchie ad where the guy takes a fake “skip ad” button and hides it until the end of the ad. You literally get the skip option back right at the end when there is no time to skip. It’s like saying a big “fuck you” to the viewer, one which, strangely, in this case, has torpedoed my dreams to get rich overnight. Now I’d prefer to work for it. Thanks, guys.
They might as well have had a giant hand floating around on the screen flipping off the audience with the “skip ad” option floating around on the tip of the finger.
There’s a storm coming, dear readers (loving these Terminator references – Ed), one where we’ll have to endure ads longer than the clips we seek to watch for free.
Now, sometimes I still may choose to not skip an ad, because the ad is good. But know this, advertisers, it’s certainly not because some dickhead is moving the skip ad button around so I can’t skip it.