I saw these ads yesterday on Slate and ESPN.
I noticed some things that are worth noting.
- These look to be executed by PointRoll, who likely helped Apple’s web peeps make the ads mess with the stuff in the browser.
- Note that the dropdown menus that are being “manipulated” by the ad are still available when the ad is running. There’s a slight delay, but at least the ads don’t absolutely prevent you from using the site as you usually do.
- After the first run of the iPod Touch ad, I made an attempt to go check out the landing page. No dice. Not sure what happened there, but I hope for everyone’s job security that this was isolated to my computer.
- The banners are somewhere around 200ish pixels high and 900ish pixels wide. That’s somewhere between 180,000 and 225,000 pixels of creative breathing room.
You might expect that I have some thoughts on these. Here they are.
- Just like most things Apple touches lately, these are exceptionally executed. The production quality is stellar, and while my burdened MacBook had a few troubles recording the video and playing the Flash movie at the same time, they ran quite quickly after the page loaded. And if you don’t turn the sound on, they still work just fine from a marketing perspective.
- They’re full of fun things to look at. I don’t need to note them all for you, but I particularly like the extensions outside the banner in the Slate.com ad for the 17″ MacBook Pro. They’re modest, and they’re clever.
- Apple seems to be leading all of us when it comes to creating display ads that actually engage. Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of the engagement is due to the fact that I know it’s Apple, and since I love Apple, I want to see whatever they’ve done.
- Unfortunately, I don’t think many other brands can claim that advantage. If you look at most of the other examples of this (for instance, the Ford F-150 takeover when the new ESPN.com launched), they’re roundly hated by people who like the internet.
- Apparently there’s a movement afoot to standardize this ad size across the internet. I’m more than a little concerned that publishers are reacting to the economic downturn by selling every available pixel onscreen, at the cost of making the content ever harder to get at.
- It’s definitely cool to play with the navigation elements–seems like magic to most users–but as with the Yahoo! iPod ad below, I don’t think it works. I’m not going to ESPN.com to be entertained by Apple’s web wizardry, I’m going there to get some sports info. If they’re going to keep this up, I’ll start going elsewhere. And when people start going where the ads aren’t, everyone’s revenue suffers.
Compare the above with the below, please.
Again, while this is absolutely a nifty trick, if I’m going to Yahoo! Games, I’m there to engage with a game, rather than sit back and watch something cool onscreen. The ad for the Wario Land – Shake It on YouTube makes a lot more sense to me, mostly because it’s in the perfect context: when people are cruising YouTube, they’re looking to be passively entertained. For me, Nintendo has used the medium appropriately, whereas the Apple stuff feels like old-world philosophies applied to a new space. Certainly, the larger stage affords Apple the opportunity to be much more engaging, but it’s still just interruptive advertising, shouting into a crowded room.