Wednesday, December 13, 2006

That Evil Mosquito

I've been getting a lot of sidebar ads recently that are similar to the classic "punch the monkey" ad, featuring a mosquito and a stun gun instead of a monkey and a boxing glove. Most sidebar ads are invisible -- I don't even know they're there. The mosquito would be the same, except for the fact that it comes with sound: a shrill, wheezy horsefly buzz, or possibly a low, bassy mosquito whine. And it's loud. When the popup appears, you've either got to turn off your speakers or reload the page until a different ad appears. It's highly irritating. I'm assuming everyone else online is experiencing the evil mosquito too, and I can't imagine anyone likes the sound.

My deep question: do they think this is good marketing? Who sat around a conference table and decided this was a good idea? I can't imagine anyone actually clicking on the ad or buying the product at the end of it. I wouldn't, just on principle, even if the ad was for something I really wanted. For site owners, it's probably a wash; the extra ad revenue from added pageviews they get when people reload to make a different ad appear are probably balanced by the people who just hit the next site on their bookmarks list and skip their site for the day.

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