Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Interactive Two-Way Ad Conversations: Can Ads Be Commented?

Mordechai (Morty) Schiller writes in a comment to a truly insightful post by Steve Outing:

"I don't see interactive advertising flying on Madison Avenue. (Although that fortress is already being stormed by the likes of and

Photo credit: Cristoph van der Bij

But it's a natural for Direct Marketing and the brave new world of Web 2.0.

Number 13 of Lester Wunderman's "19 Things All Successful Direct Marketing Companies Know" is "Encourage Interactive Dialogues."

In Wunderman's "Being Direct" he expands:
"Listen to consumers rather than talk at them. Let them "advertise" their individual needs. They'll be grateful for your responsiveness.

Convert one-way advertising to two-way information sharing."

Unless advertising comes down from his golden podium and realizes the need to inform, be transparent, open ad credible, and therefore seeking feedback and comments, it will remain a mass-media promotional vehicle, good only for traditional radio, TV and print.

New media outlets are conversations riding a dynamic axis of exchange between information seekers and information providers and ads are nothing else than a specialized version of information provision.

Steve Outing originally wrote on the Poynter Institute e-Media Tidbits newsletter:



Photo credit: Sherrie Smith

"Count me as an advocate of media sites allowing public comments to be added to content -- and I mean all content, including ads. (Of course, that's probably a radical view, considering that many major media sites continue to resist even allowing reader comments on articles.)

An example of what's possible comes from the Muncie Free Press, a citizen-journalism website covering Muncie, Indiana, operated by K. Paul Mallasch with assistance from a few volunteer editors.

Mallasch, who describes his strategy for the site as coming from the "Craig Newmark school of business" (a reference to Craigslist 's founder), says he's had some success recently selling "advertorials" along with banner ads -- "basically, a story page labeled as an ad where customers or potential customers can comment."

Here's an example.

I think this is a great idea. Allowing customer comments to be appended to the advertorial is a way for advertisers to actually interact with customers, and the advertorial format gives them more latitude in
presenting their messages.

Of course, there are some challenges.

Foremost, what if a competitor or vandal tries to trash the reputation of an advertiser unfairly? There would need to be a mechanism for the advertiser to request that a customer comment be removed, and the website would need a well-thought-out set of guidelines about what circumstances warrant removal of an offending comment. Just because a customer gives a restaurant a bad review shouldn't be enough, for instance.

I'd also recommend that advertisers be given the option of not accepting comments -- but that they also be educated about the benefits of direct interaction with customers and potential customers."

Follow the valuable comments and feedback posts to this insightful short article on the Poynter site.

Originally written by Steve Outing as
"Comments on Ads: A Radically Good Idea" on Feb. 15th 2006

Steve Outing -
Reference: eMedia-Tidbits Poynter Institute [ Read more ]
Readers' Comments    
2006-03-18 23:18:09


Thanks for the mention. Let me know if I can answer any questions...


posted by Robin Good on Thursday, March 16 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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