You know what is super cool, and by super cool I mean horrible? Pre-roll ads on videos. I understand that bandwidth and running a website costs money and you have to generate revenue somehow but forcing people to sit through an ad before a video is a rather dickish move to drive up numbers for ad sales. Not only do you have to sit through them on natively hosted videos, but now you have to sit through them on cross-embedded stuff as well. It’s happening everywhere and it’s about as much fun as having a face full of acne.
They even spring up on short clips like that one of Gwin being too badass for Saint brakes to handle and crashing at Worlds. The clip was 12 seconds. The pre-roll ad was 15 seconds.
The thing that maybe irks me the most about it is that it seems like, based on my rough census of everyone cool within 30 feet, it’s a completely ineffective form of advertising. Never in the brief and horrible world of pre-roll advertising has anyone ever once said, “Hey, that exposed me to something new that I want to buy now!” Never. Not once. The only form of advertising less effective has got to be sign twirlers on street corners wearing silly costumes. No one has ever realized they need frozen yogurt, a new condo, or realized the need to sell off some gold because a guy in a chicken suit did a fairly complicated quad spin toss of a sign as you were driving by. No one has ever purchased knee pads, a jersey, or a new bike because they were forced to sit through a 15 second ad before a video they might actually want to see.
Movie trailers are sort of like pre-roll ads but there is an art to cutting a good trailer that I can get behind. Fading in on a company logo, cross fading to a single clip of some dude riding a log a foot off the ground and then cross fading back to a company logo in 15 seconds is not art. That does not sell shitty knee pads. The only good pre-roll ad I’ve ever seen was that one of a dude in the PNW riding his trail bike to the pitter-patter of wet leaves taking a beating from his tires. It built mood and atmosphere and the sensation of going for a ride in 15 seconds. That was impressive. Too bad the company replaced that with a dog pile ad of people getting mega-agro-bro in the desert and skidding over their go-pro while completely unlicensed music from Justice blows out your headphones.
If you want effective advertising, here it is:
Chances are good that I will never buy an electric shaver. But if I am ever in the market for one as a gift to some bearded asshole, I’ll definitely keep Norelco in mind because their support facilitated the creation of a genuinely cool bike video that had more to it than product pushing with Danny Mac’n’cheese.