4 B[Ad] Dates: Advertising Formats that Make Us Cringe

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We live in a time when many of the advertising formats we encounter are respectful, engaging, and even elegant. But we could not have arrived at this point if our digital landscape didn’t go through that awkward stage, when our favorite websites would naively cozy up to bad advertising formats.

As a tribute to the past, and in light of this past Valentine’s Day, we’re reminiscing on all of the bad courting experiences we’ve had…with advertising formats. Formats that beg for attention in the worst way possible. Formats that make you cringe. Formats that are just downright inconsiderate.

The user experience with bad advertising formats is comparable to the offline experience of bad dates. Here’s a list of b[ad] dates we hope to never revisit:

The Pop-Up Ad

That b[ad] date you met once and rejected, but desperately persists, as though it still has a chance. Emerging at the most unreasonable, abnormal times, this b[ad] date is loud, blaring, and obnoxious.

pop-up ad
Unskippable Pre-Roll

No matter where you plan on going, you somehow always manage to run into this b[ad] date. Without fail, it’ll get you stuck talking about something that’s entirely trivial (for thirty seconds to one minute way too long), stalling arrival to your intended destination.

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Rollover Text Ads

The evening is going well, until you mention something that prompts this b[ad] date to suddenly dive into a long, detailed explanation about a topic that’s seemingly irrelevant to what you were originally talking about.

Rollover Text Ad
Noisy Video Ads

You didn’t even have to start by asking any questions. This b[ad] date started talking and singing your ear off as soon as you arrived.

loud ad
What steps would you take to avoid seeing your b[ad] dates again? Without question, our tolerance for b[ad] advertising formats has been continually tried and tested. It’s no wonder today’s ad blocking advocates cite intrusive and annoying ads as their top motivator to install the software. While many new formats have risen, providing users with an exceptional media experiences, the effort for everyone to adopt sustainable advertising values continues. Let’s keep the momentum up, so that our relationship with free or low-cost premium editorial remains as it should be: healthy, supportive, and in it for the long-term.

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