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I’ve been thinking a lot about ad experience these days and I have a few thoughts. As marketers, we all see how valuable advertising is and we’re quick to suggest paid campaigns. However, sometimes we let our desire to digitally advertise get in the way of creating the best user experience possible.

Remember, just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should, right? But we can talk about my very rational fear of the robot revolution another time. Right now, I want to talk about certain ad units that create negative user experiences. Let’s dive into a few placements that tend to have negative associations attached.

  • Unskippable Pre-Roll Video While pre-roll video can be a great way to get your brand message across in 6-15 seconds, it can often feel like that distant relative talking your ear off and you’re just waiting for the right time to walk away. You suffer through the 10 second ad and then you move on to the video of your choosing. While only a minor inconvenience, it’s not the ideal experience for the individual. This one isn’t that bad at all if done in the right way– after all, it’s only 6 or so seconds! Just make sure to create an experience people will remember and enjoy.
  • Pop-ups This placement is the nosy neighbor that just pops on by without invitation. Just because it shows up on the landing page of someone in your target market, does not mean they will click through. Sure, they might have to click to get to the actual landing page they want to see, but they won’t like it and will most likely bounce immediately. There are so many ad units out there that we can leverage to create a personalized and positive experience for the user. This just isn’t one of them.
  • Mid-Roll Video Okay, this is the worst offender. I’m sure this tactic works sometimes– actually, I’m sure all of the above tactics work some of the time, but at what price? For a few extra clicks, you are negatively associating your brand with the most disruptive ad unit currently in market. Of course, this is just my opinion, but one that many share. Mid roll videos take the user out of the video they were watching and force them to watch your ad. It completely ruins their video-watching experience and ultimately ties your brand with their bad mood.

Of course, these are just a few opinions and I’m sure many others have thoughts that directly contradict what I’ve said above. The whole point of this blog today is to get us to think about strategy. It is about crafting the most relevant and engaging experience for our target market WITHOUT disrupting their flow. If we do research, cater our content to the user, and choose ad units that will positively impact our audiences, we will achieve much more lasting success.