Some ad companies think they can get better results by targeting the ads to the viewers. Some strategies are matching the ad with the viewed page, while others try to target the audience in different ways, based on location or language. Which makes sense.
One problem is finding the country of origin of the viewer. Most companies seem to have solved that by pretty accurate geotargeting. Though some, of course, are still stumbling in the dark. For example, as a Jew living in Israel, I still occasionally get ads for Muslim dating sites. Or for various deals which are only relevant to US residents. But these are becoming more rare.
When they do detect a location, the basic step is only to show ads relevant to people from that location. That’s the basic step, which most have been doing (or trying to do) for a while.
These ads often don’t only change content, but language as well. If the advertised product is sold internationally, people from different countries may pay more attention to ads in their own language.
One way to do it is to have a set of pre-made ads, and show them according to the location.
Another way, for those wanting to be more… efficient? is to have a single ad, with several localized text strings that can change inside this ad according to the source.
In theory, it’s nice. There is a need to keep only one copy of a picture, or interactive program, and yet still someone from the US will see English, and someone from, say, France, will see French. The main needed investment is to get the text lines translated into the relevant languages.
And then you have those that go the extra mile (backwards, usually, though) and pick languages that are harder to handle. They do the whole design with languages that go left to right, like English, and then put in right-to-left text, like Hebrew or Arabic.
In many of those cases that I saw, they then forget that the text has to be added to the pictures a little differently. And they don’t bother to show the finished result (calculated ad with the language) to someone who knows the language. They probably just verify the initial text strings, thinking that nothing can go wrong since the same exact text will go into the image.
The end result? Extremely unprofessional advertising, when all the words in the text, or even the whole sentence, go backward, letter by letter. ( !stoidi diputS )
Like this image taken from an ad I saw on several websites. It was on a page together with at least one more different ad, by the same advertiser, that contained the exact same problem.
Did I mention that it looks extremely unprofessional, silly, and pathetic? Because, well, it does. And it definitely gets you thinking that if they managed to screw the ads so bad, on something so basic, what else didn’t they bother to pay attention to, and was it important?
So, the advertising company (the one putting the ads, I don’t know who designed them) is fastclick.net , which redirects to ValueClick Media. Nice name, not so much value to the advertiser.
I thought I’d be nice, and let them know. So I went to their site, got the Contact page, and looked for an email address, or a form. No email address, but there is a contact form. A contact form where the required fields include things like phone number, company, location, how I heard about them, and so on.
This may be alright (OK, not really) for people who are potential customers. But for someone who just wants to do them a favour by dropping a quick helpful note? Completely unacceptable. I shouldn’t have to work, and provide lots of details, just to try and help them.
Required fields should be the message content, and a quick subject. Maybe not even the quick subject. Asking for email address is also fine, if the message may need a follow-up, but that should be left to the discretion of the person sending the message.
And this company is supposed to make money by selling things to people?! By marketing?! That’s supposed to be their strong side? Funny.---
- Personally it annoys me, and I always feel more comfortable when it’s English, rather than Hebrew or other language, if I read on a computer, but I’m really not representative here[back]