In an interview with Ad Age’s Edmund Lee, AdKeeper CEO Scott Kurnit discusses his company’s ad-banner-keeping technology and boldly challenges Ad Age readers: “I will make an offer of $100 to Ad Age readers for the first person or the first 10 people who find me an ad — they’ll have to capture that with a camera or something — that wouldn’t be more useful to a reasonable segment of the audience if it was kept for later.” Not only is Kurnit giving away $100 (potentially), his company is also providing “keeping” services for free to big brand marketers for 6 months.
This is a hilarious offer because only an ad that explodes is not worth “keeping” for later. If it was a University of Pheonix ad, one that I would never click on, it would be worth keeping for later because I might change my mind. Irrelevant = worth keeping. If it was an ad I wanted to click on, “Check out new TVs at Best Buy”, then wouldn’t I consider surfing some more and keeping it for later? Maybe. Relevant = worth keeping.
Only an ad that said, “click in the next 60 seconds or lose me forever”, an offer essentially impossible to manage given Internet latency today, loses value in the future.
What about the 5th ad on a Google search result. It is simply wrong. But it might not be later? Seems easy to either take Scott’s money or have Scott deny that I am correct. The email where I read of this challenge had a Google sidebar filled with ads for Django consultants. I am not even remotely involved in a Django project right now. Does Scott owe me $100? Might I want Django consultants later?
Frankly, my original thesis when I started this post was that only the most viral and interesting ads are worth keeping to most consumers. Once again, proof that lucking into mind-blowing creative is probably the greatest marketing there is.
I am not a believer that consumers will want to keep enough ads to make it interesting and the ones they do want to keep are already viral Youtube sensations, so the earned media effect of keeping an ad is probably de-valued. My wife can’t figure out how to get interstitials offer her browser fast enough. The ability to keep an ad and replay it later does not make the ad more engaging on an a priori basis. The ad must already engage to generate a keep. I think that is the bigger problem in media today. What ads here engage me? Elf Myself? Subservient Chicken? Having said that, my impression (I don’t know any of them except Sim Simeonov) is that Scott and his team are super smart. It will be interesting to see where they pivot from here.