Scrolling Headlines:

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

Interruption marketing is becoming outdated

(Collegian File Photo)

I have been using AdBlock for two to three years now. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it blocks advertisements from appearing on your computer. Yesterday, for the first time since I installed AdBlock, I had to watch an ad on YouTube. I don’t know how they managed to get around the software: was it just a hiccup in AdBlock or did some computer scientist at Google crack the code? You can imagine my anguish, being forced to watch a supermodel dance in designer jeans for a whole 15 seconds. Ruined my whole afternoon. I’m still not buying the jeans. Frankly, I don’t think I could pull them off like she did.

Marketing on the internet can get weird. Getting the attention of college hippie lowlifes like myself who have AdBlock installed on their laptops and a “fight the power” mentality installed in their hearts is challenging. Some companies take on that challenge effectively while others fall short. Forbes blocks anyone using AdBlock from entering their website until the person deactivates it. Not in a million years would I care enough about anything Forbes has to offer that would convince me to allow them to spam me with ads for things I will never buy. All it does is discourage web traffic; if I accidentally end up clicking a Forbes link, I immediately back out. RateMyProfessor is starting to move in the same direction. This type of advertising might work for older demographics, but in the long term, Millennials are going to be around for at least another 10 to 60 years, depending on how this whole “global climate change” thing plays out, and will be the most important consumers in the market.

I am not unsympathetic to the fact that advertising is how these companies make their money. But this is 2017 and the internet is the internet. Everything is free unless you provide a good enough incentive to pay for it. You have to be better than throwing a Town Fair Tire pop-up at me every time I try to click on a link. Netflix and HBO provide quality content so people pay the subscription fees. Google recently announced that they’re ridding YouTube of unskippable 30-second ads. It is a move in the right direction: forcing companies to be creative with small windows of time yields better advertisements and is less intrusive to viewers. Young people have a subconscious AdBlock: we are so oversaturated with advertisements that we just tune them out, with or without software to help.

As I see it, the best way to market to younger demographics on the internet is to create content worth consuming that happens to advertise your product as a consequence of the consumption. For example, Wendy’s has a twitter account that puts out some humorous alternative content that makes them, potentially, worthy of a follow. Denny’s Tumblr blog is both bizarre and hilarious. Visiting either account is voluntary but they have fostered a reputation that makes visiting desirable.

If the CEO of Forbes happened across this piece, he would not have some sudden epiphany about the company’s online strategy: ads that interrupt us during our leisure time yield enough of a profit that firms do not care how many people they annoy. The existence and widespread use of AdBlock software is a response to that. It is a statement that we don’t owe any company even a single second of our time or attention, and that they aren’t welcome in every aspect of our lives, no matter how hard they try to be.

Dan Riley is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at driley@umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “Interruption marketing is becoming outdated”
  1. James says:

    Well written. Professionally expressed. My comment: I don’t comment unless I feel I represent in fairness a significant sector of people. In this case, I’m confident I represent millions and millions of the reading and viewing public. So, I confess on their behalf that I/we simply do not care or sympathize with advertisers struggling to keep their “place”. So bitter am I/are we in our contempt for their reign of abuse, that whatever they suffer; they deserve. Maybe their demise will revolutionize in a positive way how we are introduced to goods and services. Frankly, I/we possess no compassion or sensation of concern. Personally, I am in eager anticipation as I watch it crumble. What comes after will be an improvement, even if there are a few pangs of discomfort until change is complete. Welcome to the revolution and a new media-world where content is the sole priority. Then intelligent people (unlike advertisers) will design internet-worthy methods for informing the public to products and services.

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