Advertising on the web

Just got a phone call (yep, voice! In this day and age?) from a company wanting to buy advertising on my ottopress.com website. Did a reverse lookup on the phone number, and the company seems legit enough, for a “Search Engine and Advertising Network”. Not somebody I’d advertise for though, even if I did advertising.

For the record, I don’t do paid advertising on my sites. I do, however, accept bribes and free stuff, so feel free to contact me about any of those. :)

I know how they got my number, of course. I don’t use privacy on my domain registrations. However, I’ve now gone through and changed that information to have my Google Voice number, which allows me to whitelist my contacts more easily. Unknown callers there can just go straight to my voicemail instead.

Still, I have to wonder how effective this sort of tactic is… Cold calling a site owner to see if you can buy ad space? Does that really work? Anybody else experience this or have any comments?

Advertising and Gaming

Dunno if you heard of this one, but I thought it was pretty good.

If you’ve played a lot of games, then you know that some of them have advertising in them. Over the years, games have had all sorts of advertising, sometimes fake, sometimes funny, sometimes real stuff. Many years back, I recall participating on usenet in a discussion of the virtual worlds of games, and the subject of in-game-advertising was brought up.

See, up until this point, advertising in games was mostly a static thing. The games didn’t, on the whole, change the ads much. At some point during the discussion, the idea was advanced to the point of changing them dynamically. I mean, these are just big textures, there’s no reason that the game could not detect an internet connection and download new ones on the fly. At the time, this was roundly hailed as preposterous, mainly because “internet” at that time mostly consisted of modems and dialup connections. Large scale multiplayer gaming was relatively new, and home broadband was basically limited to expensive ISDN connections.

Of course, the idea was natural and obvious, but I quit most of my gaming about then, and so I didn’t see how the idea went on and advanced in reality.

Both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have more or less mandatory internet support. That is to say that while you can certainly use the thing without internet hooked to it, virtually nobody does, because it enables the vast majority of the functionality of the thing. And so, naturally, advertising came in-game on those too.

IGN Worldwide handles almost all of this advertising, from what I can tell. And recently, this got a big story boost, as it affects the elections.

Screenshot of the Obama Ad in Burnout Paradise
Screenshot of the Obama Ad in Burnout Paradise

Burnout Paradise on the Xbox 360 and PS3 have billboards beside the highway that show advertising. On the 360 version at least, from October 6 through November 3th, if you are a player in one of ten “battleground” states, then you’ll be seeing Obama ads in the game.

The ads say that Early Voting has begun as well as pointing to Obama’s Vote For Change website.

NPR’s Morning Edition went on to confirm that the ads will appear in a total of 18 different games in those 10 states only, including Madden NFL and other sports games.

They also mention that the ads are targeted to men 18-34, but I’m not certain if that means that they will only be shown to players fitting that demographic or not. It certainly could be, since if you use those consoles on the internet, then you have an account with demographic information like that.

I find it fascinating that I missed this trend, and I can certainly see how it could be a good thing or a bad thing. I would not personally mind my games having live ads like this, as it would add a sense of realism and up-to-date-ness about them. On the other side of the coin though, I can see a lot of gamers upset by this sort of thing, as some people are simply against ads wherever they may be under any circumstances.

It’s still pretty neat, I say.

One of my new favorite sites

Well, now that Paul has let the cat out of the bag on Garfield minus Garfield, I figured I’d post up a good one too.

Photoshop Disasters is a blog that has the latest and greatest advertisements which, through the horrifically poor use of software photo editing programs, made terrible, terrible blunders in their images. Some of them are subtle. Most of them are not. Most of them are, in fact, so bad that you wonder how anybody could miss them.

Been reading it for a couple weeks, and after looking at it, you kinda start to notice poor photoshoppery in everything you see. Walking around downtown and seeing advertising becomes a hilarious venture into the world of the insane.

Hey, it’s worth a look.