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To Win Digital Advertising, Think Outside the Interruption

I’m generally a pretty relaxed person. That is, until something stands between me and the thing I want to do on the internet.

Say, when I’m trying to watch a video and a commercial plays first. Or when I accidentally mouse over a link or banner and get a flyout marquee covering most of the content. Or when the whole window dims to reveal a pop-up ad, forcing me to frantically search for and click the tiny “X” so I can (finally!) go back to what I was doing.

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How The Onion Gets You to Click on Ads

While we’re on the topic of native advertising, here’s something I didn’t know until now: The Onion does native advertising, too.

And it does it pretty well.

For those who don’t know, The Onion is an entertainment media company that deals in satirized news. In other words, don’t believe what you read on The Onion, unless you want to believe that hockey fans were treated to a rare sight of a zamboni giving birth.

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Putting a Face on Litter — Literally

Litter mistakes happen. How many times have I reached for a tissue in my pocket only to find that I must have unknowingly dropped it somewhere? How many times have I chased a tumbling gum wrapper on a windy day only to give up after a few yards?

(I still feel bad about that.)

So I’m willing to forgive mistakes, but I have zero tolerance for people who intentionally litter. And increasingly, so does a major city in China.

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BuzzFeed is Winning Native Advertising, But Not Without Controversy

17 Dogs Who Could Steal Your Boyfriend.

23 Photos That Will Instantly Drive Canadians Crazy.

16 Moms Who Made Facebook a Cringe-Worthy Place.

With real headlines like these, it’s not hard to see why in some circles the name BuzzFeed has become shorthand for “junky clickbait.”

But BuzzFeed’s content is far from just junk.

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Are Bike Paths The Next Advertising Frontier?

Now here’s some outside-the-banner-ad thinking for you.

During the month of April PepsiCo’s Naked Juice leased a unique bit of ad space from Fair Park public park, just east of Dallas, TX: the bike lanes.

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Autoplay Enables Eye-Popping New Cinemagraphs

You know, media users are pretty savvy. They can spot an advertisement in their feeds and scroll past it with a quick swipe of the thumb without even registering the name of the business, let alone the message.

This, understandably, isn’t what advertisers want to hear. But the truth of the matter is that even when an ad is natively placed right in the middle of our information streams, advertisers can’t make anyone pay attention to it.

Or can they?

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Scam-Stoppers: Google’s Efforts to Protect You from Bad Ads

Let’s face it, there’s an element to online advertising that feels a bit sketchy — like Vegas before the Strip got cleaned up. Maybe it was all those garish flashing banners and tricksy popups of the 2000s that put us off, but there’s still something about an online ad that raises suspicions.

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Why You Shouldn’t Bother With Banner Ads

Since there has been Internet, there have been banner ads. And since there have been banner ads, there have been plugins to block or replace them with something else. Why? Users find them distracting and irritating, and those obnoxious “Dancing Cowboy” silhouettes that filled sidebars and flashed across the tops of pages in the mid-2000s didn’t improve anyone’s opinion on the matter.

Remember those? It’s not just me, right?

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Art Break: Complicate your Life with a Goldberg Machine

Art Break is back! This month I take a look at the ridiculously complicated Goldberg Machine, named after the artist and inventor Rube Goldberg.

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Super Bowl 2015: Hits, Misses, and Fumbles

Some people watch the Super Bowl for the football. But everyone watches the Super Bowl for the ads.

Like other years, there was a buzz of advertising anticipation leading up to the big game. But did this year’s ads deliver what they promised? Let’s see how they stacked up.

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