I send my partner a note: "Check out my new Acura ads!"
The ads signify a form of success, that my blog is Acura-worthyiii for advertising. Never mind if that's true -- that word "signify" indicates something else going on: I'm judging the quality of the site by the ads on it.iv
I've never judged a person by their actual car, because I'm hyperconscious of product branding and message, I am always alert to the deception. But here I am using the ad itself as a signifier.
Subtle flash animations, good photography or design, and of coursev the product in the ad -- all these things are signals to me about the site that has them. Of course, the ads mean different things to different people -- Acura ads may symbolize a sell out, or out of touchvi -- but the point is that the ads themselves, not the car, symbolize something. And what it symbolizes is: this company endorses you.vii
Many sites like mine have google ads, which only "pay" if you click on them; hence, they pay very poorly. But they're easy to install, so most sites have them. Consequently, it's as much the ubiquity of Google ads that signifies "amateur" as the absence of the more branded display ads (e.g. Acura.)viii
People often comment about what Google ads I have on my site, but I have no control over them, whether it's advertising a camera or ginseng extract is up to them, not me. Frankly, I think Google uses it to punish bloggers. I wrote an only minimally critical pieceix about Google in 2007, and ever since then they've been serving Dianetics ads and destroying my emailx with the Android.
But not that I am aware how I (previously unconsciously) made a judgment about websites based on the kind of ads it serves, the scientific questionxi becomes: does the ad change the traffic?
So I looked.
It's only a few hours into the Acura ad campaign, but I can tell you the trendxii: it hasn't increased the number of hits to the site, but it has changed the click through rate. About 10% more people by this time have clicked through to read posts (in other words, fewer people landed on the homepage and left without clicking on a post.) I am amazed at this resultxiii, but there it is. The presence of an ad for Acura enticed people to stay awhile.
Bigger websites out there should take note. If you run a stock advice site, make sure your ads are from the big brokerage houses and banks, simply because it looks like they endorsed you. And if you really want to look like a professional, dump the Etrade ads and get WSJ or Goldman Sachs to advertise with you.
But if it turns out to be true that the type of ad alters reader behavior, then the next question to ask is: what would happen if you placed a fake Acura ad on your site? Copied one from some other site and slapped it up there?
People already do this to themselves: luxury car logos as necklaces (old school, I know); college stickers on the rear windshield. This isn't the same as having the product around to brand you; nor is it the same as the product itself prominently displaying the logo (e.g. Juicy on the butt)xiv. This is a conscious decision on a person's part to take the brand (not the product) and use it to endorse themselves.xv
Could you command a higher subscription rate if your ads were better? Could you get better advertisers because they see an Acura ad is already there? Could you manipulate the market by using fake ads?xvi
I'm not sure this has ever been studied, but the ramifications are huge: for one thing, it would mean the end of display advertising. Why would they pay you, when you maybe should be paying them ?xvii———
- Pretty sad. [↩]
- This "of course" is that of course. [↩]
- Good lord. [↩]
- You could just paste some in then, I guess ?
It's a wonder nobody sent this appletard an ipad, I guess, there'd be no way to hear the end of it. [↩]
- This "of course" is that of course. You'd have to be pretty badly fucked in the head to imagine an alleged car made by a ride-on lawnmower / wheedwhacker / industrial blender / supposedly motorcycle manufacturer from Korea's a mentionable, let alone noteworthy. [↩]
- Speaking of this, here's what Acura "symbolizes" for me. [↩]
- Either that, or you're fucked in the head. [↩]
- What the fuck branded, the dude never discussed cars ever, not at all. The "branding" here's that "branding". [↩]
- He links #616, "What Hath Google Wrought". [↩]
- He links #318, "
Most Frustrating Technology of 2010 (so far): Google Android". [↩]
- That "scientific" is this scientific. Specifically what he means by "scientific" is -- statistics poorly done on collections so small and so confounded nobody could ever possibly confuse them for samples. [↩]
- Nope, you can't.
Because it being only a few hours it's much too soon for a trend. That's exactly the definition of a trend : something that's observed over lengthier intervals than a few hours. [↩]
- It's not a result, it's a preconceived notion.
This is how these fuckwits do their job, too. This is how the pseudoscience America runs on is manufactured, you realise. This and no other way, necessarily and unavoidably, like in a condenser with pierced dielectric exactly. Once the dielectric is pierced, once the gap is sparked through, that's it, the item's a become a plain resistor, and will work that way and no other way forevermore. [↩]
- Wut ?! Wut ?! [↩]
- It's actually another step down poverty lane, as you'd expect of good soviets. But whatever, vorwarts, great things await, great things you can't know about because you're too fucking stupid to read and besides, you're speshul and unique and nothing outside of the ten mile radius you never left matters anyway. [↩]
- Could you just suck my dick ? [↩]
- I just can't fucking continue with this moron. He's...
Pshaw, words fail me. It's like most of his brain's a preteen pimple. [↩]