February 9th, 2011
It’s no surprise that Scott Kurnit, the founder, thinks that AdKeeper will satisfy a very common (if not often expressed) need. And as he points out in a post on All Things Digital today, the idea doesn’t necessarily sound crazy. The two analog analogs he points to for AdKeeper’s model are:
- The broad popular attention given to the Super Bowl ads [people enjoy, talk about, and share ads in certain circumstances].
- The fact that people clip physical coupons and tear ads out of magazines [people save ads in certain circumstances].
He may be right — and a lot of pretty smart money is betting that he’s right — but the “in certain circumstances” that I felt compelled to add to each of the points above makes me a little skeptical.
Ads aired during the Super Bowl are a special case. An atypical amount of time, money, and attention goes into developing each one, and they’re created with a specific situation in mind: you’ve got 30 or 60 seconds in front of people who are explicitly prepared to view your commercial as part of the evening’s entertainment.
Most ads just don’t get that kind of focused attention, either in the creative phase or from their audience. How many ads do you see each day, and how many have struck you enough that you mentioned them to someone else?
For that matter, how do you make a 250×300 static unit as engaging as a 30 second mini-story? Possible, perhaps, but you’re giving the creative end of advertising a pretty heavy rallying cry: “make every ad worth keeping!”
On the coupon/saving front, the parallel seems a little strained to me. People clip coupons because they need to take that physical coupon to the physical store; unless advertisers follow a similar model online (offer only valid if you come via a particular ad/link), this seems like a stretch.
The difference I see is that you can’t get another copy of the coupon once you throw away the magazine…but online? I don’t think my wife has ever purchased anything online without Googling for a coupon code, and she usually finds one.
I think it’s fascinating that AdKeeper is flipping over the ad network model of keeping the “right” ads in front of you until you’re ready to click, no matter where you are online, but then I’m often fascinated by things that don’t work out as hoped or expected.