I visit sportsillustrated.com on a daily basis to get updates on scores and to read some of the terrific sports writers, like Peter King. Recently I have noticed a growing number of display ads on their site that expand over the navigation and articles I’m reading. It certainly gets them noticed, but it doesn’t make me want to engage with them any more. In fact, some of the ads are annoying because the prevent me from navigating, and I then have to search for the ‘close’ button to get rid of them.
Instead of changing the format of these ads to make them more noticeable, I’d suggest making them more relevant. Use my online behavior or context of the articles I habitually read as a way to determine what I’d like to buy. Shoving a product in my face that I don’t want only gives me a negative impression of the brand.