Chris Essig

Walkthroughs, tips and tricks from a data journalist in eastern Iowa

Interesting ad?

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Last Friday, while surfing the Internet, I went to the Sun-Times web site to look at a few articles . As soon as I got to the web site, I noticed something different about it: instead of the usual blue background, the site was orange. I also noticed around the edge was a repeated pattern that I couldn’t make out. So I decided to right click the image and open it in a new window. Here is what it was:

An Ad. For a Jimmy Buffet concert.

Strange. I’m not sure if this was intended but if it was, it was quite ineffective because I had no idea what it was before I opened it in a new tab. My monitor at work obviously couldn’t view the image properly, and I’m sure my computer wasn’t the only one with viewing problems.

But the larger question is: does this signal a new trend being used by newspaper web sites to display ads? Are more and more newspapers web sites going to willing to change their own background–which naturally becomes a very familiar sight for repeat visitors–to make an extra buck? And if they are willing to do this, where will they stop?

I already get annoyed by those pesky roll-over ads and animated ads that pop out at the user. But this could be worse. I haven’t seen it used anywhere else, which is a good thing. But who knows what the future holds…

This isn’t the first time the Sun-Times has used “innovative” techniques to advertise on their web site. Right now, they have one of those ads that expands the entire length of the web site when you first open the site, forcing the user to close them. I can get over those ads. But they have to draw the line somewhere before their entire web site turns into a mass collage of ads.

Have you seen any interesting ads on newspaper web sites?

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Written by csessig

February 15, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Posted in Technology

Tagged with ,

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