Ten Years Ago

Why Advertising Doesn't Work on the Web.

That was, of course before Adwords, search engines and all that matters, but - still - it's interesting to newbies and people who plan to have a web-site.

An excerpt:
This makes TV much more suited for the traditional type of advertising which is flashy and promotes superficial qualities of products. While watching TV, people approach a vegetable state and the main goal of a commercial is to minimize interaction by keeping the user's hand off the remote control. As long as the user watches, you can keep them engaged by high production values and a message that says very little besides "we are good."
Where TV is warm, the Web is cold. It is a user-driven experience, where the user is actively engaged in determining where to go next. The user is usually on the Web for a purpose and is not likely to be distracted from the goal by an advertisement (one of the main reasons click-through is so low). This active user engagement makes the Web more cognitive, since the user has to think about what hypertext links to click and how to navigate. This again makes the Web less suited for purely emotional advertising. The user is not on the Web to "get an experience" but to get something done. The Web is not simply a "customer-oriented" medium; it's a customer-dominated medium.
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