Can Newfangled Web Ads Save Journalism? | Vanity Fair (nice summary of innovative ad types)

The difficulty for advertisers is finding that sweet spot between being annoying and being ignored. On one hand, pop-up ads are generally considered such a nuisance that virtually every browser comes with software to block them; on the other hand, some marketers fear that Web surfers have trained themselves to ignore traditional, unobtrusive banner ads (there’s even a name for the supposed syndrome:

At least part of the issue of when an ad type might work vs. when it becomes annoying is understanding user intent at different moments of hisher online situation.

I’d be inclined to think that a push-down on a section front might be fine and not bother users much, perhaps with a shorter retract period than 7 second, though. In this situation, the user is browsing and so one more item in the sphere of attention is just one more item, to latch onto or skip over, but no real problem.

On the other hand, once I find a story in which I am interested and I click on it, my goal and expectation is to get to that story. Anything that gets in the way or slows me down at that point is, at best, going to be bypassed the best I can or, at worst, going to tick me off for wasting my time.

It is not a one-type-fits-all situation. Understanding and, more, appreciating what the consumer wants at any specific moment is a critical skill. Unfortunately, it is a skill that too many ignore in favor of just throwing it all out there to see what sticks.