Gawker Strip All Ads From Site Except One

gawker_detoxed.jpg

Copyranter points us to Gawker today where the New York gossip site has, with the click of a button, allowed its readers to banish all ads from the site except for evian water who is sponsoring a detoxed version of the site for two weeks. Once the button is clicked, all ads disappear except for some subtle mention of evian, some soothing snow-capped graphics and a means for those who publish an RSS feed of their site to "detox" their own RSS feed. The sponsorship was done in partnership with Mediavest and Feedburner. This is what the Adrants RSS feed looks like "detoxed."

It's an interesting approach Gawker is using to leverage the possibility that RSS publishers will create a "detoxed" version of their own feed and share it with their readers, thus extending the evian marketing message at no additional cost to evian. Social media at its finest baby. Of course, while Gawker isn't forcing anyone to do this, some might liken this to the old fashion pop up argument where pops from advertisers other than the publisher's would block the publisher's paying advertisers on the site. But since "detoxing" an RSS feed is completely under the control of the individual publisher, the publisher has only themselves to blame for angered advertisers.

Since clicking the "detox" button on the Gawker site eradicates every single other Gawker advertiser, we're assuming evian paid a pretty penny for this roadblock buy. While roadblock are nothing new, Gawker's approach certainly is. First, it's the choice of the readers to block all other ads. yes, there are other publishers and technologies that accomplish this as well but it's usually to completely dump all ads. Second, the social aspect of the buy hopes to thrive on the spread of other publisher's "detoxed" feeds to extend the message.

We've asked Gawker publisher Nick Denton to tell us how he's handling other advertiser who are being "turned off" and when he does, we'll be sure to share that information with you. In all likelihood, the evian promotion is short term, all other advertisers have been notified and any ad impression they have purchased will be delivered despite this roadblock promotion. We'd expect nothing less from the very fine Mr. Denton.

LATER: Gawker Sales Director Christopher Batty responds, "Actually, we simply see the Detox'd Gawker as commercial messaging; the payoff for a custom masthead integration. While it is potentially pretty enough for people to prefer over Gawker.com, we doubt it will materially cannibalize Gawker.com front door views over the 2 week flight. In any event, as you know, IAB standard executions on the Gawker.com front door are sold on a CPM basis. So if there is cannibalization, it would only impact the delivery pacing of other campaigns - for which we which have made sufficient allowance."

UPDATE: Brook from TribalDDB says, "Just for the record, we did this idea several years ago at Tribal DDB for our ING client: http://www.copywriter.net/soa/soa.htm" It's not quite the same as the Gawker evian thing though. The ads don't really disappear on this page and there are only ING ads on this page. No ads from other advertisers. It's not a live page so, in theory, there could have been other banners that "disappeared."

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (0)     File: Good, Online, Opinion, Publishing, RSS, Viral     May-16-06  
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