Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The purpose of advertising is to influence behavior, we all know that. And the more people who see the advertisement, the more potential customers whose behavior is available to be influenced. That’s why advertisers pay millions of dollars for a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl: they know they’ll be influencing millions of potential customers with their ads.
Which brings up the question: how long must I stare at an advertisement for it to influence me? Does it take the full 30-seconds for the magic to work? Could it happen more quickly? Perhaps even unconsciously? Does subliminal advertising work? Lots of researchers think so.
If they’re right, I wish they’d explain it to web designers. I click on links because I want to read the article. But when the web page takes forever to load, then refuses to let me click through the ad, and auto-plays videos I don’t want to see . . . I click away, having never read the article at all. My behavior is influenced negatively.
If they’d bring up the article right away, the ads could appear in my peripheral vision while I read. I’d actually see them, they could do their magic, my behavior would be influenced positively. If the blog author’s article got mentioned on Instapundit, the resulting Insta-lanche would put millions of potential customers in position available to be influenced by the peripheral ads.
Don’t look at me. I moved my ads to the sidebar.