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Distracted by online banner ads? Here's an alternative

sunveer

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Many consumers bypass Madison Avenue with software that filters out online advertising. Adblock Plus, for example, averages about 13 million daily users on one browser, Firefox, alone.

Now a tech startup, AdKeeper, is charting a course directly against that ad-blocking current, arguing that consumers like to see ads and will want to save favorites in one central location.

Participating advertisers place a small button on ads with the AdKeeper logo - a "K" formed by an exclamation point and less-than symbol - and when a consumer clicks the button, the ad is stored on a page on AdKeeper.com along with any others the consumer has saved.

Scott P. Kurnit, chief executive of AdKeeper and the founder of About.com (which is owned by The New York Times Co.), acknowledged that many people are initially puzzled at the prospect of saving ads.

"The question rational people have is, 'Hey, don't people dislike ads - why would people keep ads and why would they go back and look at what they've kept?"' Kurnit said.

The answer, he said, is that consumers do like some ads, but dislike how distracting they can be on the Internet. With AdKeeper, online advertising becomes "truly invitational rather than interruptive," said Kurnit, who as an example mentioned consumers encountering online movie-trailer ads at work, and saving them to view at home later.

"It's time-shifted advertising," Kurnit said.

A recent study by AdKeeper and 24/7 Real Media, a WPP company, found the main reason people ignored banner ads was that they did not want to be pulled away from websites.

According to Google, the average click-through rate - the portion of users who click on an ad - is 0.1 percent, or only one out of 1,000.

Once ads are saved to AdKeeper, the click-through rate improves to 3.4 percent, meaning consumers are 34 times more likely to end up viewing the ad, according to the company.

A new print and online ad campaign for AdKeeper, by Ignited in El Segundo, Calif., aims to educate consumers about the significance of the button starting to appear on ads.

"Making your Internet better (one button at a time)" declares one ad, while another says, "Behold, a better Internet."

While it will ultimately be advertisers who pay to participate, Troy Scarlott, a group creative director at Ignited, said the initial campaign promoted AdKeeper as an advocate for consumers, for whom online ads could be less intrusive.

"If you click on the AdKeeper button on an ad it's going to take you a half a second and you can continue reading," Scarlott said. "This really gives you true control of your online experience because you control when you want to engage with ads."

AdKeeper, which was formed in 2010 and began running in a test version in February, has secured more than $40 million in financing.

Robinson, chief executive of Times Co., serves on its advisory board.)


Source: economictimes.com
 
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