Against Nonpersistant Web Advertising

I have a lot of complaints against advertisements in general, which I will not be discussing in this post. Instead, this post is dedicated to one of the biggest problems with web advertising: not being able to see the advertisement again.

Take YouTube as an example; if you visit a YouTube video, they apparently invoke some Pseudo-Random Number Generator to determine both whether to show an advertisement, whether it should be video versus popover, and whether it should bear any relation to the video.

Worse, though, is that you can’t replicate the PRNG; they don’t throw you the seed they use or anything. So if you start to watch a video, and decide later you actually want to click that advertisement, you can’t. If you stop watching a video advertisement a few seconds in, closing the window, but then process the snippet you saw and decide you want to watch it, you can’t.

This isn’t unique to YouTube. All over the web there’s different advertisements with each pageload, and you can’t get back to them. Some sites like Reddit are a little better in that they do have persistent addresses for at least some of the advertisements. But you still can’t see the advertisements you’ve seen.

You can’t share these advertisements. They’re like ghosts. They’re black ops. Appearing for a mere moment, just long enough to draw the knife blade across your throat. Okay, maybe that’s too dramatic. They’re more like insects that buzz up by your ear just long enough to make you wiggle a little.

“But!,” I hear the marketadvertbrandologists say, “Advertising is not about selling products, it’s about…” and there they go trying to sell advertising as being the equivalent to your grandmother’s cake or grandfather’s pie. That they want you to feel like a kid in a candystore when you think about your vitamin supplements, carrying around a brown paper sack and scooping the goodies into it.

The main thing is, even that excuse doesn’t work if people want to spread the advertising message. If Smith says, “Jones, did you see the really cool video advertisement for genetically modified hermit crabs?” Jones says, “No, I did not.” Smith says, “Well, that sucks, because I can’t give you a link to it.”

Just one more reason to dislike advertising.


Anti-Advertising Rant

I don’t like advertising.  Sometimes it can be ahem tolerable.  But most of the time I go out of my way to avoid it.

In fact, web ads are blocked. On the rare occasions I’m reading a magazine of a topic I care about I am prepared to ignore them.  Once a week when I read the Sunday New York Times, I ignore them.  And, television ads are mostly skipped automatically using the MythTV commercial flagging system.

So occasionally I end up watching ads, when MythTV fails to detect them properly. I’m accustomed to the auto-skip so I don’t realize what’s happening for a few seconds.  If it’s a decent premise I’ll watch an advert until I get tired of it or I feel like I’m actively being targeted to buy the product.

What troubles me is these annoying jingles.  They’re designed to be annoying and to burrow themselves into your brain like a mole and root around in there until you can’t get the bugger out.  And they can just pop into your head.

Let me clarify.  Music pops into my head all day long.  All the songs I know and love from all the bands I know and love: I’ll be doing the laundry and suddenly it’s California Redemption provides him with his rent, room and board inside of a fifth of Comfort, or I’ll be going through my RSS reader hearing, he’s an elevator passenger, bored as he can be and that’s cool.  I don’t always have headphones on or music handy, but you listen to music enough it’s just with you and it’s a thrill to have around.

I could be 90 years old with dimentia or alzheimers or some other form of mental decline, laying in my own piss and singing your stupid fucking jingles in my head.  Is that what you want?  Sick bastards.  I take time and put effort into finding good music to have stuck in my head.  And now any jackass with the money to put some crap product and a tv jingle out has access to me for the rest of my bloody life.

That’s unethical, I’m fucking sorry.