Why do we find annoying and irritating internet, and TV advertising, commercials/ advertisements?

Irritating ads.

Sometimes annoying is "Effective".
Sometimes annoying is "Effective".
Sometimes it is "Just Annoying".
Sometimes it is "Just Annoying".

Counterproductive promoting

It is a peculiar thing in advertising that sometimes the most annoying of all types of promotion can sometimes be the most effective. We are all familiar with those ads on television that just scream at us to switch them off. They are just so excruciating that you can’t bear to watch them. Afterwards you ask, why did a company make such a downright irritating ad? What possible benefit can accrue to them from actively irritating their potential customers? Then the answer comes to you. You can remember the product precisely because the ad was so horrible. The old dictum that "No publicity is bad publicity" has just operated in front of your eyes. The ad that you hated so much has given, the company that sponsored it, that most valuable of all benefits to be derived from advertising; brand recognition. You might cringe when you think of the advertisement. But you will remember the name of the product. Job done for the advertiser. One particular ad I know that is especially annoying is for an insurance company. They employ two well known, but annoying comedians, to voiceover an animated telephone and a computer mouse. Their antics, and the dialogue, are more than especially banal. There is another where the characters go round with large light bulbs on their heads to denote that they have just got a good idea. Both of those ads have me reaching for the remote, to switch off, when they appear on my television. But I always know that one of them is for an insurance company, and the other is for a finance provider. It's strange but I can remember these ads, and the products that they promote, but I cannot recall the product names mentioned in the more tasteful and slickly produced examples that I see as well.

This method of promoting a product may work quite well for television advertising. It will not be so effective for internet advertising. When we are watching television we are usually relaxing. It is either after work, or we are on a break. Our time is not being wasted by watching the ads. But when we are at our computers it is a different matter. We are then in the middle of doing something. Often we are busy trying to promote our own business. We have a lot less tolerance for annoying advertising than if we were just watching our favourite show. There are many forms of annoying advertising online. One that gets me more irritated than most is the ads you get that try to forestall you clicking away. They usually give you a message about a special price reduction, if you press cancel instead of ok. Sometimes they have a picture of an attractive girl with headphones, who is only dying to tell you about the brilliant discounts available. Some of these ads have such clever software that you only need to put your mouse over the X to prompt the appeal. There are one or two really annoying ads that will not allow you to use your back button to escape their clutches. You have to shut down your browser to get rid of them. None of these methods will work on me. They serve only to annoy. They frequently just cause me to shout at my computer, "Go away you stupid fool. I would not have clicked on the X if I did not want to go". My neighbours must sometimes think I am mad. Another ineffective form of advertising is frequently come across if you surf traffic exchanges. Here you get credits for viewing other people's ads for around eight seconds. The more ads you view, the more views you get for your own ads, and you usually want to click away as soon as the minimum required time is up. But some companies post ads on top of the ones you are viewing that say they have a twenty or thirty second countdown. They don’t offer you any credits for viewing them. Are you going to waste valuable time reading them? I think not. You could have viewed several credit giving ads in that time. That company should not have wasted its money buying such an ineffective advertisement. Another wrong way of advertising is to post really long ads with videos to watch, and loads of smiling customers offering you their opinions on how brilliant the product is. Why can’t people try to keep it simple? I just want the essential info. Overselling will not work on me. I suspect that it doesn’t work on anyone else either. Popups are another annoying feature of internet promoting. Some companies even have popups that appear and then obscure part of their original ad. What is the point of that? The final and most annoying type of promotion I will mention is the companies that want you to fill out a form, with all your details, before they even tell you how much the product will cost. A well-known social network tries that trick on their advertisers. That is just downright unethical. I avoid them for that reason alone.

That concludes my little rant for today on the pitfalls of dealing with some forms of internet advertising. I hope I have not put you off entirely. There are some very effective ways of promoting yourself, or your products out there. Whichever you use I wish you the very best of success, and a great increase in your prosperity.


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Comments 20 comments

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

I disagree. Anything that people remember is great advertising, whether it annoys them or make them happy :-)


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi msorensson. Thanks for the comment, but if you read carefully my first paragraph, you will see that I agree with you as far as television adverts are concerned. It is only annoying internet ads that put me off, because they are messing up my work, which is internet based.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Oh, yes I read that. But I meant in everything..:-)

I can understand your annoyance..perhaps I do not know enough to say such a sweeping statement that includes internet advertising but surely the tv ad works.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

They do usually, unless they are unbelievably annoying, in whch case I would rather starve than buy their stuff.

But then. That is probably just me.


Matthew 6 years ago

The internet is an elective unlike television where your audience is somewhat captive. I agree, online advertising has to be engaging or it's a waste of time and money. With so much choice available online, I'd rather type a new search than deal with a crappy advert.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

I couldn't agree more Matthew.


demond 5 years ago

when was this posted


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

09/14/10. Why do you want to know?


nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 5 years ago from Serbia

I can totally relate, Chris!

In my country, we have commercials stolen from the US, where our Serbian idiot is trying to be louder than the original idiot in the commercial, as they are badly voiced-over :)


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Those are the ones we usually remember too, which makes it even more annoying. They are the really effective as.


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California

I totally agree!! So irritating. I use the mute button when ads come on. The only commercial I like is the "Mayhem" actor who does the commercials for Allstate Insurance. he's unique and actually funny, things sadly lacking in the ad world.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks GarnetBird.

I wiil look for that ad on You Tube to see if I agree.


David 4 years ago

If you think annoying ads give product recognition your right, if you think that's good for your product, your VERY WRONG. I have a mental catalogue of products in my head which crossed me with annoying advirtisements, and gues what? I avoid them at all costs, if something harasses me online I'm ot going to reward them. So advirtisers, get this into your head, if you annoy me I may remember your product, but only to remember to not buy it.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi David. I think my attitude is exactly the same as yours, but not everyone shares it.


perassanna 4 years ago

nice point david, advertisement is not only about remembering the brand its about the brand image. when you show your customers that you are so annoying and irritating its a good advantage of your silent competitors.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Sometimes they do work quite well. I have a very personal approach to products and ads. If I dont like a company I will never buy their product, no matter how beguiling the advertisement.

Thanks for your contribution perassanna.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I worked on the net before it was the net. I took a long break after it became public and commercial. I am back. Forecasts from engineers and programmers I used to work for (graphic artist) have all come true. According to them it was not ready for the market yet.

I have been in advertising. It is not as scientific or consciously inventive or controlled as people think. The effective ad campaign is the one that the customer writes the check for. It is amazing how many of the best ideas lay cropped in the trash.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Thanks WD Curry for that informed comment. You may very well be write in what you say.


David in Bangor 4 years ago

After those creepy, obnoxious, and stupid Burger King ads with the guy with the big plastic Burger King mask I actually STOPPED eating at Burger King for over 3 years now. I've only recently considered eating there again after slowly forgetting about those stupid irritating and annoying ads.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom Author

Hi David.

They were very creepy, enough to give you nightmares. Still it's nice to think that they may not have put you off for life.

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