You know those images on web pages that keep moving, the banner adverts that distract and annoy? Well, I’m rather proud to have made my first one. It’s a GIF, an animated digital advert placed in an American trade directory for film and TV equipment suppliers. Round-and-round it goes ad infinitum. Or not, if you are one of the 22% in the UK who use ad blocking software (source: IAB, 2016).
Ad blockers promise to rid the internet of annoying adverts. Both Google and Facebook allow users to set ad preferences, while dedicated ad blocking software screens across multiple platforms.
There’s much talk about ad blocking seeing the demise of digital advertising. Many sites are dependent on the revenue from the banner advertising, but many of their visitors are too frustrated to care.
The publishing, advertising and digital industries are working together to come up with a solution to too many adverts.
There’s one good way to get people to uninstall their blocker. Give them content that rewards their attention. Faster loading, better placed and creative campaigns engage customers.
My first foray into GIF creation is likely to be my last. Not because it hasn’t been a success – I’m confident the intended audience can see the advert because sales can be tracked back to it – but because I’m not a designer.
I’m a writer who produces copy to improve the reader experience, words that sell in other words.