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Yesterday, this happened on my phone, and I was pissed as hell:


Not only is it annoying, but guess what? My experience is actuallybeing sold back to Acura as an “impression” and a “click through.” Which, for you non-marketers, means intent or interest. And yet nothing could be further from the truth. I had no intent or interest whatsoever. Acura stole my most precious asset: time.

Newsflash: not all impressions are good. Especially on mobile.

In the web world, banners and ads can live on the side of a page. Sure, they’re annoying. But at least they’re off to the side. But in a mobile world, these ads become invasive, obnoxious and downright stupid.

Ads that stop me from going where I’m going, that keep me from doing what I want to do, make me want to buy that product less. Their ad is actively blocking me from the very thing I went to the website to do. In fact, this happened before. I make a point not to buy anything from Samsung for this very reason.

Now, you may be thinking right now: “Isn’t that ESPN’s fault? It’s their website. They show how ads are displayed.”

Solid point. Let me tell you why it’s not their fault.

ESPN brings me value. I like them. I want to go there for a quick score or read a headline. So I’m willing to be annoyed for a second because they are bringing me value. Acura, on the other hand, is bothering my experience with an ad and is not bringing me any value whatsoever. Obviously they are bringing someone else value somewhere in the world, and that’s cool. But if they’re trying to bring me in as a new customer, they are failing.

Think about it: how often are you annoyed with a particular person. You aren’t blaming the place it is happening, just the person.

We need to get serious. We need to be in a place where we start debating the context of the impression, not just the impression. I don’t give a shit if you have a hundred million impressions. If a hundred million of those impressions made that customer pissed off with your brand, you lose.

Let me put it this way: it’s high school, and every day you see the girl you love, and the bully you hate. You see both of them the same amount of times every day, but you feel very differently towards each of them, right?

The context and depth of the impression is something that needs to be debated in the advertising world. It’s freaking 2015. How is this still a discussion? I don’t give a crap how many people see something, I give a crap about how they feel when they see it.

Marketing world: please can we start having conversations about marketing that aren’t just predicated on the width, aka, impressions?

Bottom line: road blocking mobile sucks shit.

Know someone who needs this wakeup call? It would mean a lot to me if you passed the article along.