• Your Ad Here

    Recently, Amazon advertised a Kindle with a reduced price. All you have to trade for the smaller price tag is embedded advertisements. When I bought my new laptop from Best Buy in February, I had to pay an additional $65.00 for the staff at Best Buy to remove the pop-up ads that had been embedded into the hard drive. To me, the extra sixty-five bucks was worth avoiding the annoyance of having advertisements pop up at random intervals, trying to entice me to purchase items I neither wanted nor needed. If I’d had to endure the constant barrage of ads while trying to write, I may have thrown the damn computer out the window.

    Last night, while watching my DVR’d episode of The Vampire Diaries, I was disappointed when Jeremy, hiding out in a basement with Bonnie, produces a laptop and a little black box. “What’s that?” she asks. “Oh,” Jeremy says, flashing the box with the AT&T logo, “this is MIFI.” Okay, so that might not have been the dialog verbatim, but you get the picture. And this isn’t the only show utilizing this new in-your-face sponsorship.

    Honestly, I find this type of aggressive advertising annoying. If I’m using a laptop peppered with pop-up ads, it detracts from my work. If I’m watching a show with shameless plugs, it detracts from the story and my viewing experience. What’s next? Should we expect our novels to be prefaced with ads for the new Ford Focus? Don’t get me wrong, there’s a right and a wrong way to advertise. Ads in the back pages of a novel promoting other writers in the imprints line…totally appropriate. A brief pause during a scene in my favorite show where the character has a spokes model moment and shows off the new sprint tablet? (I’m talking to YOU Fringe.) Totally not okay.

    What do you guys think? Has product placement and advertising gotten out of hand? How would you feel if the first few pages of your favorite book showcased full-color ads for Apple or Subaru?

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8 Comments to "Your Ad Here"

  • Renee Sweet says:

    April 19, 2011 at 10:25 am -

    I don’t think print books will ever get to the Apple/Subaru ad stage because they don’t have the immediacy advertising needs. You could be picking up that print book years after that particular model has gone out of stock, for example. But. I think the new Kindle is just the first step towards taking ebooks into the advertising realm. Will the future hold “free” copies of ebooks that are “paid for” entirely by advertising? Who knows, but I think it’s a definite possibility.

    As for the MIFI moment, I think I’d take a couple of moments like that over dedicated commercial breaks, especially when they start coming every five minutes. *grr* We’ve given up live television entirely in my house. We’ll only watch a TV show on DVD–commercial free. And I’ve basically given up the radio for the same reason. I can still get exposed to new artists on Pandora with far fewer (or, for a small fee, no) ads and a much higher likelihood that I’m going to like them.

    [Dang. You guys should totally have a contest for ‘longest comments.’ I’d win in a heartbeat! :( ]


  • Sandy
    Sandy says:

    April 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm -

    I haven’t watched last week’s VD episode yet, so I don’t remember a MIFI advertisement (what is MIFI?), but if a show has subtle product placement, I don’t mind. Like, if a character was drinking a soda, and it was very clearly Coca-Cola, I’m totally cool with that. But I don’t want a dialogue about what it is unless it really, really flows with the story.

    I think advertisers are just kind of struggling to find a way to get to viewers since most of us record the shows and watch them commercial free.

    The other thing about commercials/advertisements is that I just HATE seeing things that don’t apply to me at all. All those drug commercials? Nope, don’t need them yet. Ads for GoDaddy or something else? Already have my domain registered. Don’t need them. I really only want to see advertisements from products I’m interested in, so I’m hoping in the future there might be a way to target an audience better. Of course, then they might actually convince me to spend money. lol

    P.S. Is my comment longer than Renee’s??????? :-)


  • Jennifer Hillier says:

    April 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm -

    I don’t think I could buy that cheaper Kindle with the advertisements… they’d drive me nuts. I don’t watch commercials (yay for DVR), I don’t listen to the radio because I can’t stand commercials there, either, and I don’t buy most magazines anymore because they’re just full of ads.

    I don’t mind product placement but for it to work on me, it’s got to be strategic and subtle. Like James Bond wearing an Omega watch, or a character drinking Pepsi. I get annoyed when products are pushed in my face.

    Such a great post!


  • Suzanne says:

    April 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm -

    Hmmmmm…I don’t know. I mean I sure do enjoy a COKE while I read THE NEW YORKER.

    Wait? I didn’t get any money in my paypal account for mentioning them?

    I changed my mind. It annoys me too! 😉


  • Shawntelle
    Shawntelle says:

    April 20, 2011 at 11:12 am -

    Don’t get me started on this topic! I used to watch soap operas. (Back when I had a lot more time.) And on one of them they used to drop product placement all the time. It was so obvious and so lame. Seriously, I would need to have hit my head really hard to miss the camera zoom in on the product and then see the logo. If I remember right, Britney Spears last video had plenty of logo flashing going on.

    Would I buy a Kindle with ads in it? No way. I already blocks ads on my computer by altering my DNS file. There’s no way I’d allow it on my reader as well. I’ll just shell out the extra money thank you very much.


  • Nadia Lee
    Nadia Lee says:

    April 21, 2011 at 9:25 am -

    There’s no way I’m okay with ads on a Kindle that actually COSTS money to buy! Yuck.


  • Leo Garcia says:

    February 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm -

    Wow. Making you pay to remove their ad is not fair.


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