I applaud Yahoo for hiring Marissa Mayer as CEO, but it sounds like she has fallen into a futile search for the holy grail on the web:
“There is a way that you can introduce advertising such that it’s not intrusive, it actually adds value to the end user, and it actually enhances the experience,” Mayer said. “And that’s what we need to work on.”
I wish her the best of luck on the pursuit, but it seems like a fools pursuit to me. An ad is an ad. There are good ads, and there are bad ads. The problem is that there exists only a precious few companies willing to take the time and money to create the good ads.
It’s not a problem of placement, or display, it’s a content problem. Until we reach such time that bad ads no longer work, advertisers will have little motivation to go out and create a truly good ad. Mayer can try to force this, but ultimately she still will need bad ads to pay the bills.
I’d offer up iAds of proof of this. You don’t see many, but when you do they are much better than most other ads on iOS. That said, Apple seems to be having a tough time filling the spots.
Apple is having a tough time with it.
Facebook and Google don’t care enough to even bother. So can Mayer succeed where Apple has seemingly failed?
Yes, she can, but it won’t be easy or fast. I also wonder how lucrative it will be given that you are asking for more money to be spent making better ads, so will advertisers really be willing to pay the same high rates for placement? I’m skeptical.