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The 30 second interstitial ad

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday May 14, 2009 )

Eek! Imagine landing on your favorite site’s home page, clicking a link to an article and then having to endure a 30 second video ad before you got to the next page.

According to MediaWeek, ShortTail Media will initiate a beta test of what it terms the Digital 30 (D30), a full-screen, deliberately intrusive ad built to showcase traditional 15- and 30-second TV spots. Reuters has signed up for it and a few others are seriously considering.

My immediate reaction was “it will never work”.. but then I thought about the video news stories I (grudgingly) view online and how I tolerate the ads before those items play; but even so, it’s still quite a departure from normal and accepted site functionality and flow.

The key will certainly be to have compelling content that can’t be viewed elsewhere. I doubt very much if anyone would tolerate 30 seconds of video before reading my posts; but that’s not where this ad trial is targeted – it’s aimed at the big boys.

The other key is uptake – if only a couple of the bigger players start running these things, I think people will just gravitate more to those who don’t; but if everyone runs them; it likely be a different story. Like other innovations initially viewed as major annoyances, they’ll just become an accepted part of the fabric of the web, like popups/hover ads – except to those with very limited bandwidth quotas and slow connections – this ad unit will just bug the heck out of them.

Anyway, my opinion + 3 bucks will get you a cup of coffee I guess; but it will be really interesting to the the results of the trial.


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