Yeah, I want to see that ad

Steve Outing brings up an interesting solution to a problem that not many of us think about: wanting to see an ad that rotated out.

He suggests placing a link that lets you go back and forward through the rotating ads, or a link to an advertiser index.

While I’ve never quite understood the ad index in magazines — I mean I can flip back and forth and find the ad on my own, but I digress — I think it’s a great idea on the Web, especially with a link near an ad spot as Mr. Outing suggests.

Web advertisements often, unfortunately, have one of the weak spots of TV ads, their fleeting nature. You click a new link and the ad you saw is gone, perhaps forever.

Well done TV ads can counter their fleeting nature with the ability to be very compelling and memorable (Waassssup, and its ilk) — something I’ve yet to see Web ads do, though I think the medium is capable of it. The Absolut flash-ad campaign that’s been running on The Onion is the closest thing I’ve found.

Newspapers, on the other hand, don’t have as nearly as compelling ads as TV, but do have stickiness and limited (geographic) targeting capability. The ads in your paper don’t rotate or go away till you round file them.

Web ads can counter with the potential for great targeting, once we get some sort of single sign-on for news sites, but lack permanence and aren’t very compelling, yet.

Providing a way to cycle through the ads, or to visit and index to find the advertiser you just saw, is a step in the right direction.

About Chris

Python developer, Agile practitioner trying desperately not to be a pointy haired boss.
This entry was posted in Business. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Yeah, I want to see that ad

  1. Martina says:

    Interesting idea. However I don’t think at the moment there are a lot of nice ads people would like to see again.
    I believe you can maybe name ten web ads worth seeing again.

  2. James says:

    FWIW, has a feature somewhat like this with its text ads; each has a link to a page of all currently-running ads, should you ever want to go find a particular ad again, or just see the whole collection.

  3. Chris says:


    I agree that right now most ads aren’t worth looking at but that can only improve as the creatives get to know the medium better. In the interim, I think it’s good to our CMSes ready for the day when the ads are worth seeing again and in some ways, I think providing a way to see ads that rotated off or providing links to all advertisers that day sends a message to our readers that advertising is something important.

    We provide archives to our editorial content, we don’t let that just disappear. Even if it goes into a paid archive we still want and let people find at least the headline and a summary.


    I like the link that provides, but it might need a better label other than “active,” it took me a moment to figure out that that was the link.

    I really like the “buy ad” link right there for any potential advertiser to see.

Comments are closed.