Great Moments in Game Advertising, Part 2

Thinking back to early internet advertising techniques, the second most hated method (after the blink tags) were pop-up ads. You load up a page and then along comes one, two, three etc extra windows showing ads. It certainly grabbed viewer attention, but that attention was mixed with stabby rage as people went to close the annoying ad that covered half the page they actually wanted to see. There are still some pop-up ads used in this format, but browsers have built-in pop-up blockers as a result.

But there is a new version – or at least a version I see games advertising using more often – of the in-page pop-up ad. You load up a page to look at something, then the ad covers half (or more) of that page and starts to play a video. With sound. And, in the case of Bulletstorm’s in-page pop-ups, sound that contains swearing and an adult-rated video clip. (Some of these ads require mouse-over to activate, but I’ve had ones that have auto-started on page load.)

Bulletstorm in-page pop-up ad

What I actually wanted to read is behind this ad.

Yes, it takes only a click to close the ad, but so do other pop-up ads. They are annoying because they are interruptive.The above Bulletstorm ad activated when I accidentally mouse-overed it on my way to hit an icon in the menu bar. I didn’t want to activate the ad, but with these types of ads located in the tops and bottoms of pages, it isn’t hard to accidentally set one off.

Pop-ups piss people off and having one launch with sound – swear-y, NSFW sound at that – is even worse. I don’t remember getting an age check on that ad either, so that’s pretty much a long string of crosses in the ‘responsible game advertising’ column here.

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