Contemporary Advertising
#1
Advertising is everything. Companies need to put their name out in the open, show off their products, and do whatever they can to convince people to commit to a product or service. People advertise to such companies with their LinkedIn profiles and resumes. Even small text roleplaying forums engage in several forms of advertising to gain new members and spread word of their communities. In hardly matters where you live, or what you do - you are subject to advertising. It's a nececssary evil that comes with consumer capitalism.

What do you think of advertising in general? Where do you think it works best, and worst? What kinds of advertising should be considered acceptable, and how far is too far? Also, what is your opinion on tools that block online advertisments? How about data collection from services like Google, that allow for companies to target users with particular interests?

In the interest of time, I'm only going to briefly state my opinions for now. I use an ad blocking tool for highly intrusive ads, because they are a nuisance to me, and I tend to not be interested in spending my money on the products and services that they are advertising. In general, I can accept advertisements for what they are, but I honestly can't stand attack ads. They pretty much define what I don't like about U.S. politics in partiular, and they tend to just stir up more confusion, which is counter productive. I also think that we've fallen into several advertising 'traps' that fail to serve a good purpose. For instance, the funny or attractive ads that say nothing about the product or services, all of the *insert holiday here* sales that have no real purpose, etc. There's definitely a lot that can be done to make advertising less annoying, intrusive and more informative... but more on that later.
~ Taav
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#2
I personally both hate and love ads. On the internet, I hate them completely. Yes, I know, they're there to pay for the snazzy stuff most sites give to us, but many of these such ads are videos that automatically play with their annoying sounds and you can't find which one has one so you have to mute your cumputer until god-knows-when! TVTropes is a pain for this; they say that vids that pop up in front of the actual page and ads that play sound are not allowed, but there are stretches where you just. Can't. Remove them!

It gets worse. Ads are seperate things that need to load. If you have a slow-loading computer or a terrible internet connection, there are some sites you cannot visit unless you have an ad blocker. This is why I have one, in fact. I wanted to read a webcomic but the many ads on that page (NO webcomic should have that many ads, and none of the others I read do!) prevented it from loading. So I downloaded ad-blocker. Sorry.

I also hate ads on Youtube. I'm fine with static ads on the sidebar, though they do get in the way on Lappy's short screen for clicking the next vid without scrolling, but ads in the video itself, whether it's static ones that hide what's going on or vidio ads that play at the start (or sometimes middle, I've had that happen), they just get in the way. Many sites could do with an ad overhaul. Honestly, Pokefarm Q showed quicker load times once I added adblock. And Youtube is now one of my favourite sites.

On TV, ads are extremely annoying but also sometimes interesting or funny to watch, provide a necessary break for you to stretch your legs or nip to the loo or get tea (British channels with ad breaks have the timed to the average time it takes to make a cup of tea AND increase the volume to be heard in the kitchen!), plus you always have the option of sticking entirely to the BBC. After all, ads are how you pay for most sites and TV channels; the BBC drops all of this silly pretence at being free with the TV liscense (if you're in uni halls, the hall's already paid it) that pays for most BBC shows. This lack of need for 'ratings' to satisfy the companies paying to have their ads on also means that some shows formerly thought to be not good enough for an ad-filled channel will get their time to shine on the BBC. Some truly great shows exist because of this: Being Human, Blackadder's renewal, etc. Top Gear also paid for itself entirely through it's merchandising, so all TV liscense money goes to TV instead of some middle aged men messing about. The BBC's iPlayer website is what I use to watch TV, in fact. I don't actually like watching actual TV, so I use the iPlayer because it's easy to find (only works if you're in the UK or fiddled with your computer to appear to be in the UK) and, yes, ad free. I love the BBC.

In fact, I love the BBC so much, I'mma put this link here.
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