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Study finds people think giant, annoying targeted ads are pretty uncool sometimes

Laura June

A recent marketing research study conducted by Avi Goldfarb of the University of Toronto and Catherine Tucker of MIT reveals a few things about online advertisements that might not come as a huge surprise to you if you work on the internet. First off: targeted online advertisements -- a gaming site with ads about Fable 3, for example -- really work. The content being "targeted" in any intelligent manner gets fingers clicking all over the place, whether in the form of a banner or plain text Google AdSense-style. Secondly, obtrusive ads that do crazy things such as make noise, play music, or roll over the page when moused over, are also extremely effective -- far more so than standard banner ads. Where the research hit some problems, however, was when an ad was both targeted and obtrusive. In that case? Well, people get a bit creeped out and the ads effectiveness falls pretty dramatically. Why? Well, the answer isn't readily available, but we're not really shocked to hear that insane popup ads related to whatever people are browsing on the 'net aren't that well received: we never liked them very much ourselves.

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