Which Internet ads are more effective - banners that appear when a Web page is accessed, or ads that the consumer chooses to view?
Edmunds.com, one of the largest automotive portals on the Web, believes that consumers would rather click to view an automotive ad than be exposed to a barrage of automotive banner advertising.
That's why Edmunds, an independent, online information service that provides consumers with vehicle information such as prices and driving reviews, is marketing a pop-up advertising feature to automakers that will be offered on the Edmunds.com Web site.
Unlike banner ads that automatically appear on the screen when a Web page is accessed, pop-up ads are viewed when an option in an on-screen message box is clicked.
Edmunds has not sold any automakers on the idea and may have a hard time doing so, says Peter Goodwin, corporate manager of marketing communications at Nissan North America Inc.
'The struggle for us is that Edmunds.com's or Kelley Blue Book's Web sites have a high degree of credibility with the consumer who is shopping because they are not commercial sites; they are information providers,' Goodwin says. 'I'd be very interested in seeing some consumer testing to see whether there are consumers who are ready - while they are in that environment getting highly credible information from a third party - to receive a commercial message.'
Jeremy Anwyl, Edmunds' COO, says Edmunds hasn't set a cost for the pop-up advertising, but he says the average cost for 1,000 exposures for banner advertising on a targeted automotive site such as Edmunds is between $30 and $60.
Anwyl believes the concept has promise. 'Consumers like to feel that they are in control,' he says. 'If they're driving the process and drawing information as they feel they need it, (the selected message) is very, very powerful. We could also have online specials where the manufacturer would offer a special rebate to Edmunds users.'