Mozilla, the company behind the popular browser Firefox, has recently introduced an idea for their own advertisement system in which the businesses can buy advertisement space like they have normally done. However, these advertisements are catered toward the user instead of the advertiser. The ads appear when a user opens a new tab, where “recent pages” usually appears. Mozilla emphasized that they are all about respecting the users who utilize their services. The big difference lies with the ability for the Mozilla user to opt out of the advertisements, not seeing them at all if they aren’t interested in the content offered.
As a consumer and a frequent Firefox user this is a very appealing concept. Advertisements on the internet are generally cheaply done and if you aren’t on a major social networking site they are usually not catered towards you interests. So having the ability to opt out of advertisements I don’t care about or don’t want to take the time to think about, without having to pay a fee of any kind or use a third party is a win-win. But there has to be a catch, is what I, as a cynic, automatically assume.
The catch lies in the fate of the advertisers who take the risk and use this new medium for advertising their brands. From the perspective of a possible future advertising professional this just seems so unappealing. Why would you pay a sizable sum of money and risk that the target audience will only glance at it, see that it is an advertisement, and immediately close it out of annoyance. There is extreme risk in this, and I don’t think that Mozilla will really gain much from this new venture. These risks may also turn this consumer friendliness around on the consumers with prices that are raised as a result of increased money spent on the new ads. But it starts the conversation on this new user oriented advertising vs. catering to the advertisers themselves.
I think that the one positive for the companies that choose to advertise this way is that if they do manage to snag a user, and this person clicks on the advertisement to learn more, then the consumer will probably be more likely to actually buy something. Considering the fact that they chose not to opt out of an advertisement, and are spending time to check out the brand.
So what do you think? Will this type of consumer friendly advertising make it? Or will the costs outweigh the benefits?
Kantrowitz, A. (n.d.). Mozilla to Ad World: Start Respecting the User | Digital – Advertising Age. Retrieved October 9, 2014.