Are Advertisements Really that Evil?

This issue has been debated for quite some time already, yes, I already know that. This article is just another opinion from yet another “dude” somewhere out there in the world with a website/blog to his credit. Take it for what you will. Anyways, I thought it would be interesting for me to blog about this topic and dig deep down inside myself to see how I personally feel about this issue. Sometimes, people can be very hypocritical preaching one thing and then doing the complete opposite. I’m not going to lie. I can be like that as well at times and that’s why I like to write. It allows me to think before putting something down and so it allows me to reflect more deeply on the issue. Words on paper can sometimes be just as powerful as a voice.

What is it?

OK, to kick things off, let’s see how casual users like myself view commercials and advertisements in general. When we see a commercial on TV, there are a couple of emotions that can be emitted depending on the type of person you are. Well, actually, now that I think about it, it actually boils down to whether you like them or not! Some users may view it as a complete waste of time and want nothing more than for their regular programming to air again. On the other hand, there are some users that don’t mind the commercials in general but view it as just a intermission. They can either go about their restroom break during these commercials or in other cases, look for actual services and products of interest offered in the commercials. In the end, commercials are a form of advertisement. I think that much we can all agree on. While that might not hold true for 100% of the commercial content out there, it does hold a significant portion enough. Why? Well, it’s very simple. Money. Companies pay big bucks to have their commercials run on TV in hopes of getting you interested in their product or services. The more chances of your commercial being viewed (think during Superbowl or one the many popular TV dramas)  will obviously cost you a lot more compared to a commercial being broadcast at 3AM in the morning where everyone is most likely asleep. Heck, I’m sure there are many commercials out there that cost more to have it put out to public for broadcast than it is to actually create the video commercial itself! Bottom line is, commercials cost money.

So what about online advertisements? They can be considered somewhat like commercials but in many cases, much less intrusive in that it doesn’t take you completely away from the page you are viewing (although there are exceptions to this). Also, you have an option of whether to view the ad or to skip it entirely. That part is important to keep in mind when reading the rest of this article. With commercials, you have no choice but to watch it unless you are watching it pre-recorded from your DVR in which you can then fast forward it. With advertisements on websites, if an advertisement excites your interest, clicking on it will take you to a different website for more information on that product or service. If the advertisement fails, then nothing usually happens. The advertisement might be a bit distracting depending on the type being used but generally, it’s just going to sit there.

Site Adverts

How it Works

With all that being said, advertisement sucks! Well, at least that’s what a lot of people think. It’s a distraction and a complete waste of time. However, they don’t realize the importance of those advertisements. Once again though, it comes down to money and revenue. Many services can continue to offer you content because they have a generous revenue earned through their advertisement partners. A very simple example is Hulu. Hulu allow users to catch up on their favorite TV episodes online for free as long as they have a decent broadband connection. Yes, free. What many of these users don’t stop and think about is how this is made possible. Surely the giant TV companies and production studios isn’t going to give Hulu a free pass and allow them to freely stream their content on their site for free. Come on, money talks.  Hulu must pay some sort of licensing fee and whatnot to be able to give you those content. But how is it going to earn the money to pay those big companies if they don’t charge users a single penny?! I’m sure you catch on by now. By accepting to show advertisements to these users, Hulu is getting paid by these actual advertisement companies and earn revenue. Because Hulu is such a big name service, I’m sure many third-party services and product companies out there would love to pay Hulu to broadcast their commercials in hopes to reach a larger audience base which in turn would lead to more people hopefully purchasing or spreading word about their product.

Hulu Advert

Now let’s switch over to the web. Many freelance bloggers write content for everyone to read. In many cases, these content is generally of some help to the readers. These bloggers typically do not get paid whatsoever and they create content purely on their own free time. Is there a way for some of these bloggers to generate some revenue in hopes to either pay for their monthly web host or even go as far as generating their sole monthly income? Well, advertisement is the answer once again. By place adverts throughout their website in hopes of users clicking on them, they can generate some revenue. How much they earn is completely dependent on how effective their advertisements are and the amount of visitors they get on a daily basis. Advertisements is an easy way to help the content owner earn some revenue for taking the time to put together articles and other informational pieces for the general public.

Site Advert 2

The Problem

As mentioned earlier, many people don’t take too well on any form of advertisements. Many users expect everything out there on the Internet to be freely available. Therefore, advertisements are viewed not as a revenue channel for the source provider but as just an annoyance. Hardly would users stop and think about how it is possible that they are getting the content in the first place when it comes to television shows or that the actual person who wrote that helpful article they’ve just read is a human being just like them and they need to make a living as well, no matter how small or big. I’m sure there are people out there who would immediately dismiss a blog article the first chance they see an advertisement banner. For some reason, they either believe that the site is not reputable or that the owner of the blog is just begging for money. Commercials are nothing more than a “plot” by the big evil companies to brainwash us into buying yet another product we don’t really need. It sounds funny but I can assure you that it’s happening out there.

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Comments

  1. ironballs nightingale says:

    yes they bloody well are. because they are designed to prey on your vulnerabilities in order to fool you into making emotion-based impulse purchases. they do everything possible to override logic and zero in on negative emotions. so as an elderly man, to be constantly harrassed with ads about belly fat, funeral insurance, cancer specialists, viagra and incontinence products would be intolerable. yet this is exactly what happens. to hell with them! if all is was, was amazon ads and the like, it wouldn’t be so bad, but that is very far from true.

    • Hey ironballs. Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree that there are many horrible ads that try to sell unnecessary services like the one’s you have mentioned in your comment. Sadly, many people do get duped and there’s nothing much they can do about it. That’s the sad part.

  2. Attention paid to an imp topic. I agree with you simon. 90% ( or more ) people dont like ads but yet they are imp.

    Consider this . I am running my site for over 3 years. I have never ever put a single ad ever. all costs of expensive hosting paid by me. But I cant continue like this forever . I put ads just a few days back so that at-least i get what i am paying to set up the site .

    So, just hoping that some people who appreciate our work click on ads sometime just I did for your site now :)

    • Yeah, as my computing experience and knowledge matured, I realized that advertisements are necessary in today’s economy. I’m sure a lot of start-up companies that don’t have millionaire investors utilize advertisements to help recuperate costs. I’m sure there are many other web content providers that share our story as well. It’s awesome to provide free content to our readers but sometimes, it’s nice to receive some love in return as well!

      P.S. I’m sure to look out the next time you have a free software giveaway on your blog!

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