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Are There Any Ads People Really Like?

Q: With TiVo, pop-up blockers and now advertising-free satellite radio, it's clear people are eager to zap unwanted ads. Are there any kinds of advertising that consumers actually like and (gasp!) perhaps look forward to?

A: When you say "advertising that people look forward to" I look for ads that shake consumers out of their time-starved reveries to do something different, like buy fashions that they otherwise wouldn't consider. Search engine advertising really doesn't count as a type of ad you look forward to - I'd argue it's more of a utility that you expect to be there, following in the footsteps of yellow pages. (And in both cases, unwanted ads still count as clutter.)

People generally look forward to goodie bags at events. Consumers have come to think of magazine ads as an integral part of the overall magazine experience and even look forward to seeing new ads. Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel led early efforts to mimic magazine efforts by creating TV spots whose tone mirrored the channels' core positioning.

Podcast and RSS ads might be eagerly antcipated right now but that's going to stop as soon as it hits the mainstream. Fake ads have a lot of buzz value but it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Product placement into television shows and videogames are acceptable for now. 

Oh, and Super Bowl ads.

My pick: Philadelphia 27, New England 24. MVP Brian Dawkins.

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