Advertising analysis – Insensitive pop-up ads
During the second nail-biting T20 match between Pakistan and Australia, I sat at the edge of my seat, eyes glued to the screen, my fingers running vigorously on my phone keys as I tweeted the updates.
Occasionally I would glance down at my phone while tweeting but tried my best to remain focused to the screen. On one such occasion, as I looked back on the screen, I saw an entire forest of apple trees growing in the middle of the field. My fingers stopped mid-tweet as I stared at the trees collapse at the same speed they had grown. I was too horrified to even notice the Fruita Vitals Apple Nectar tetra pack in the middle of the trees (I spotted it the second time the pop-up was shown). Baffled for a few seconds, I forgot what I was tweeting. I backspaced and started again, this time tweeting on the pop-up that had appeared rather than an intense game update.
What was more annoying was that in a game as intense as that, every time your eyes would run around the field spotting players, you would be distracted by the Neslte Nesfruta pop-up, where a bat hits a mango, consequently splashing mango juice on your TV screen. Do they make Nesfruta buy squishing mangoes with a bat? Even though it was associated with cricket, the way you portray your product shows exactly how much you value it yourself.
The level of insensitivity of pop-up ads was widely proven by the Service ‘Win with Skooz School Shoes’ bus pop-up, where a school bus goes round on the field, stops to spill out the prizes you can win and then drives off the field.
When you’re watching something intently, any distracting pop-up has an unpleasant reaction. Many cricket fans were taken aback by the Servis bus, as it instantly reminded them of the Lahore bus attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
Advertising is an effective medium of publicity, but it becomes nauseating when it takes over a game of cricket, especially in Pakistan. What is confusing is why does a game of cricket have to become all about the advertisements? Every player is endorsed. From catches, to boundaries, to the cheerleaders – all are promoting some brand or the other.
Thankfully these pop-ups did not show up every time a ball was running to the boundary, which I recall happened in previous matches a few years ago, making it almost annoying to follow the match.
Nevertheless, TV ads have suddenly found a whole new way to invade our space. Not only are pop-up ads shown during the middle of an over where a product will jump out of the field, on to the screen and go off just in time for the next delivery, but also the reduction of the screen to advertise a product with an ugly lower third is distracting.
Last year, Ten Cricket was issued a show-cause notice by the Indian government’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry for violating the country’s advertising codes during its coverage of the series between India and South Africa.
I also came across another article that spoke of pop-up ads on best homes in Bangalore shown on Indian media while reporting on the destroyed houses during the severe earthquake in northern Pakistan, a few years ago.
With the amount of nonsensical ads being produced these days, at least programme times should be kept clean feed. Ads should strictly be shown only between programmes as a distinguisher, but not interfere with lower thirds and infuriating screen reductions.
For the record, the super over in the second T20 match was the best. Not as much for the intensity but because it was clean feed.
The writer is a New Media Design Manager at Dawn.com