Category Archives: Contextual advertising

Article: The New Reality of TV Advertising

I have the cover story in the latest issue of The Advertiser magazine. The topic is interactive TV, specifically how a bunch of different players are hoping to make TV a lot more “web-like” in both functionality and measurability. The nut graf(s):

After years of fits and starts trying to turn the concept of interactive TV into a broadly based reality, a collection of service providers, technology companies, agencies, and marketers finally seems to be making some legitimate headway in transforming TV into a more addressable, more targetable, and more measurable advertising medium.

Sure, we’ve seen this dance before. For years, we’ve been hearing promises of two-way engagement, better buying and measurement systems, and addressable ads for TV viewers. But real milestones have been elusive in an industry known more for inertia than innovation.

Something feels different now, however.

Execs from Google, Unilever, Lenovo, Canoe Ventures and others weighed in on the topic.

100 Years of Journalistic … oh Never Mind

How depressing to discover that UPI – whose tagline is “100 Years of Journalistic Excellence” – is using those beyond-annoying in-text ads on its website. Seriously, ads for the Chevy Volt and Prudential Insurance embedded in a story about the Israeli-Hamas conflict? I weep for journalism. Again.

Ick Alert: In-Text Ads Gaining Steam

Those annoying in-text ads that you normally find only on gaming and other niche sites are making a comeback in mainstream media, appearing on sites including Fox News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Popular Mechanics, the Wall Street Journal reports. You’ve no doubt seen them: double-underlined words in an article that, when you mouse over them, pop up a contextual ad. These insidious ad types represent the most blatant of journalistic church-state violations and should be banned immediately from our culture. 

Busting a Nut

Scobleizer has a brief post on a new service for inserting contextual ads in web video. The company launching the service,, calls the ads “walnuts”, which are basically keyword-driven text ads that appear inside a video.  I’m not a big fan of most contextual ads; just because I watch a clip of Sunday night’s World Series game doesn’t mean I want to buy a Tigers’ cap or a jar of pine tar. At its worst, contextual advertising ventures beyond annoying into the distasteful; consider the turpentine ads placed next to a recent CNN video on a mother forcing her pregnant daughter to drink turpentine. Ouch, babe.