Misadventures in Web advertising

I recently found two great examples of how not to advertise on the Web in an entry in Jeff Balke’s blog. I’m reminded instantly of the advice of Eric Bohlman from 1999:

“Catch them while they’re getting up to [use the bathroom]” simply doesn’t work on the Web.

I think both Macy’s and (sadly) the Houston Texans could learn a lot from this decade-old post, as true today as it was then.

I remember a far more recent example: FOX’s just plain obnoxious ads for Prison Break which aired during the 2005 MLB playoffs, including the World Series. I may have tuned in to watch the show; the repetitive air raid siren made sure I never would. It’s one thing to name the halftime show or some silly highlight feature after the highest bidder; that just makes a few nostalgic for the days when we had simply “the halftime show” or “the play of the game.” But a TV network is degrading its product (a sports telecast) by shoving obnoxious promos for its other shows on top of that product.

TNT: We don’t know multi-platform

I recently read an article in Jeff Balke’s blog about TNT’s online video. In a world increasingly moving away from a “one size fits all” model with regard to computer operating systems (not that such a model ever really applied to begin with), it is absurd to think that everyone will be running any given operating system.

Especially when that operating system is Microsoft Windows. TNT, you dropped the ball big time. This is 2009, not 1989 or 1994.

I’m sure someone will hack around what I’m sure is an absolutely blockheaded browser- or OS-sniffing script. My point is, however, we should not have to.