Why ads don't have to be annoying

My Current Online Ad Experience

I go to read an online article on any website and all of the sudden the entire screen is taken over by some ad that immediately sends a rush of frustration to my head. I instinctively and frantically search for the X button to cancel out of it. Then, I hear the sound of some video ad and I can't seem to find out how the hell to turn it off. All I know is, whoever is providing this ad is now my enemy.

I want to watch a video online, but I'm forced to watch some annoying video ad or commercial before what I really want to watch comes on. I can't wait for it to end. Sometimes, I can hit the skip button after 5 seconds. This is where most people stare in anticipation of when the never-ending 5 seconds are finally over. It feels like an eternity. Anyone who doesn't skip is most likely listening passively anyway. Now your brand has become something that I can't wait to get rid of so I can do what I came to do.

And yet, other times, I'm listening to a music streaming service when all of a sudden, some audio ad for a brand interrupts my indie chill listening session of music. Thanks generic brand for interrupting my music to let me know you exist. I hate you now.

Somewhere along the lines, these advertisers completely forgot to take the "annoying factor" into account while trying to get more impressions, clicks, and engagements.

Sure, a website or app can drag up some display ad from the bottom of my screen just as I'm trying to click on something else to trick me into clicking the ad instead.

Sure, you can expand a huge ad that I can't seem to make go away just because I accidentally moused over it while naturally trying to scroll the page.

And sure, these types of tricks may get you more views and engagements so you can report back to your client or boss that you got a great engagement rate on your ads. But how do you measure how much you annoy people in search of better "stats?"

Every time these annoying ads reach me, it results in the opposite effect that a brand should be trying reach. It makes me frustrated and annoyed. And your brand is now associated with these feelings of hostility.

I am not talking about regular display ads that just appear on sites. Those are fine because if you see something you like, you'll choose to click it. I'm talking about those interruptive, pop up, can't shut off, in your face ads that try to trick you into clicking something.

Enter Native Ads

Native ads are all about using the content that people want to consume as a source of advertising instead of interrupting their time and taking away from the experience.

It's more important than ever for advertisers and brands to look at new, creative ways to associate the brand with the positive experience that consumers come to a platform for instead of taking away from their experience to shove some unwanted piece of content in their faces.

In regards to music, this is one thing we are looking to achieve at feature.fm. We offer sponsored songs in our streaming partner, 8tracks. As a brand, instead of interrupting people to tell them about your brand, you can associate your brand with the music listening experience that people come there for.

Sponsoring songs inside streaming services allows you associate your brand with an artist or piece of music in a very authentic way that lets you reach young audiences with powerful brand awareness. It's the difference between "You just interrupted my music and now I hate you" vs. "You just brought me some great music and now I love you."