In-image ads: end of 2 week test

October 8 | offbeatbride
See that little banner across the bottom of the image? We're testing that out.
See that little banner across the bottom of the image? We're testing that out.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to give me feedback about the new in-image advertising platform we've been testing for the last two weeks. Several of you voiced concerns that the ads felt too intrusive and misaligned with the topics on Offbeat Empire sites — especially on Offbeat Families.

After giving it a shot for a couple weeks, here's what I've decided to do:

  1. Remove in-image advertising from Offbeat Families and Offbeat Home. (So many Offbeat Families posts are simply too sensitive for in-image photos to feel appropriate, and Offbeat Home doesn't have enough traffic to make the intrusiveness of the ads feel worth it.)
  2. In-images ads will remain on Offbeat Bride for now, although I've removed all entertainment campaigns (stuff like TV shows and movies) animated ads and the ad counts are throttled so that they shouldn't appear on very many photos.

I'm going to extend the test period on Offbeat Bride for a couple more weeks to see how things feel with the throttling in place. Ultimately, I'm adding these ads with the hope of being able to give my editors raises, and it's just about balancing the intrusiveness of the banners with the value of having a happier staff. Thanks to each of you for your thoughtful feedback and continued patience with the testing on Offbeat Bride!


UPDATE DECEMBER 2012:
I've decided to remove the in-image ads from all Offbeat Empire sites. Thanks so much to everyone for your patience with us as we tested it out.

UPDATE DECEMBER 2013:
I've added in-image advertising back onto Offbeat Families. Since the site is now an archive, my strategy is focused less on readership group and more on recouping financial losses through more aggressive advertising like in-image ads.

  1. I just want to share that at one point while reading OBH an ad popped up for a Tinkerbell movie and little fairies flitted across the photo. It was actually kind of awesome. Most of the ads weren't that cute, but if they all were, I'd be like, "Heck yeah, magic fairy photos!"

    7 agree
    • I think all the ads I saw were for that Tinker Bell movie so I was totally down with it ๐Ÿ™‚

      1 agrees
  2. The little bar at the bottom of the photo isn't bad (going off the one you posted since I haven't actually noticed any on the other sites, probably 'cause I use a blog reader ) The little heads popping up blocking content are sort of in the way, though.

    2 agree
  3. I don't really mind things like this because it's super easy to just close the add. doesn't feel invasive if I can exit it in one click and it doesn't block anything I'm trying to do

    6 agree
  4. I was ok with the new ads, but then when I came to a photo-heavy post (don't remember which one)it was too much. Tinkerbell on the first photo was fine, but then having to see Tink like 5-10 more times as I scroll down, that was almost torture. It was like: No Escaping Tinkerbell! I have never seen ads on every single photo in a post elsewhere; I think that is asking a bit much from a reader!

    3 agree
    • Is there a way to restrict it to only one image per post? Or to not come back when you click a link and then come back to the page? they're obnoxious regardless, but I was reading the monday montage on OBB today, and had to get rid of the beauty and the beast add something like four times, which was annoying enough to not really make me want to read the page at all.

    • The ad levels are throttled at no more than 30% of the photos — so it really should never ever be "every single photo." If you ever see that, please screenshot it, because it's a significant bug.

      Also, you may want to consider installing an ad blocker on your browser. It hurts publishers, but if you find ads obnoxious, it's the ultimate fix.

      • I saw the many, many ads on the very first morning you implemented them (on OBM?). I'm pretty sure it was 90-100% of the photos, but also the pictures were zigzagging across the page, out of frame, so I was kind of hoping maybe it was a glitch I was seeing!

        • Yeah, ads were throttled from 70% to 30% on that first day.

      • "Also, you may want to consider installing an ad blocker on your browser. It hurts publishers, but if you find ads obnoxious, it's the ultimate fix"

        Oh Ariel, what an awesome person you are to make such a suggestion *hugs*

        I already have an adblocker and use my tablet to do most internet browsing anyway (which gives me the mobile ad-less version). But that you'd make such a suggestion is awesome. <3

        • For me, while I really appreciate the feedback about the ads and am totally on-board with trying to make the Offbeat Empire's ads feel non-obnoxious, I also want readers to understand that ultimately the power is in their hands.

          I mean yes: feedback is awesome! But each of us has a different threshold for what feels "obnoxious," and I want to make sure everyone knows that we all have control over your own browser.

          • I have a question:
            I'm doing my internet Christmas shopping (I like to be organised), if I turn off my add blocker and peruse various sponsors through OffbeatSomething, will that help you?

            A lot of your sponsors are pretty cool and would have awesome gift ideas and I'd probably end up there anyway… ๐Ÿ˜‰

            1 agrees
  5. Maybe I watch far too much TV where the little ad bugs fly across the screen, what feels like, every 10-15 seconds to tell me about ALL THE OTHER TV SHOWS EVAR!!!!11!11!!!1!, but I didn't even notice the ads until I read this and went back to OBB.

    Moral of the story: I need to read more books.

    3 agree
  6. I actually didn't mind the ads at all, especially because I could click them away easily. If they were more targeted to the readers, they would even be kind of fun!

    2 agree
  7. I'm still seeing TV show ads, and those are really the only ones that bother me since they have no relevance whatsoever to the content of the site. Is this a glitch, or are the above decisions just not official yet?

    • I'm experimenting with non-animated ads, which may include entertainment ads. Basically: it's all in flux. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I'm not a big fan of the tv ads (for the same reason madeline suggested), but in all honesty I really don't care what the content is as long as it doesn't move. I can't read when there's some big flashing moving thing in my peripheral vision. I've actually put my hand over part of the computer screen so I can read an article before (not here, since these ones you can close).

        Funny you should mention the ad block too. I recently added one, but then felt a little guilty when I came here. At least this website has ads for places that have cool things, instead of some booblicious chick on the side of my computer.

  8. I actually haven't seen any of these. The only obnoxious ad I've seen, which I don't think is one of these, was the giant Aptamil ad that took over the whole background of Offbeat Mama. That one felt really jarring.

  9. I've decided to remove the in-image ads from all Offbeat Empire sites. Thanks so much to everyone for your patience with us as we tested it out.

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