Flashy ads

John Dowdell writes about Flash and “eye-catching” ads. He is talking about those highly animated banners taking all your attention away from your real task.

when I’m reading an article I don’t want stuff exploding and shaking and whirring in other parts of the page.

John asks for a good solution. A utility for stopping all SWFs will probably be included in the ad-killers that are available today. I can understand why John don’t want to see that happen for Flash. I have to wonder why Macromedia hasn’t thought about this problem themselves, and tried to find a solution.

Counting on designers of Flash ads to include stop features seems a bit naive, even if it would be good if everyone making Flash ads included a stop option.

There aren’t really any good solutions around to avoid annoying Flash ads today (At least that I know of, if you know about such a product – let me know). If you want a Flash banner to be unstoppable, its a perfectly easy task to achieve. And one that it seems a lot of Flash banner authors use.

5 thoughts on “Flashy ads”

  1. Luckily, most of those really nasty Flash ads only work in IE. Yet another reason to go all Mo all the time! Mozilla rules!

  2. Avoiding Internet advertising is just one of the many reasons that I collect most of my daily readings from blogs.

    It is a shame that users will want to disable Flash ads, but users want to disable all ads, so I don’t think John should worry too much about it.

    As for the annoying animations that distract the user, well that’s kind of the point. Back in 1999 I developed a Flash ad for an intranet that detected mouse movements. When the user’s mouse was still, the ad was too. When the user moved their mouse, the animation started. By doing this the ad attracted attention only when the user was in the process of moving their mouse. The click-thru was about the same, but at least the pages were not annoying.


  3. Sure, we all know that animations is way to go the get attention. Humans react instinctive to movement, and movement in ads draws our attention to them, if we want or not.

    The problem is of course that our attention is drawn away from what we really want to concentrate on – the content that we came to look at.

    I don’t know if the typical Flash banner designer understands the amount of frustration heavily animated ads generate, and the hostility it creates towards the “purpotrator” of the annoyance. I suspect they are either clueless, or don’t take the problem seriously enough.

    If everybody implemented the kind of features for their banners like the one you implemented for this customer, then it wouldn’t be a problem. But alas, thats not the case.

  4. Brandon Blackmoor

    There is an easy way to disable all those annoying and useless Flash animations: uninstall Flash. Delete it. Remove it from your hard drive, in its entirety. I did. You should, too.

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