A couple of years ago, when I was working on a web 2.0 platform we launched in a previous workplace, we were desperately looking for a simple advertising solution that would boostrap our initial content site revenues. Not wanting to start selling ad space ourselves, we needed some kind of a turnkey solution, but all we could use was the inefficient but simple-to-use AdSense for Content. We had a look at Shopping.com’s API, for which we saw a great implementation in answers.com, but once we dived into the documentation it was clear that the overhead of implementing is huge. So we just gave up and used AdSense.
Text ads are not always the right tool. Banners attract your readers’ attention a lot better, and even give some grace and color to your pages. But we all came to think of banners as irrelevant, annoying “punch the monkey” stuff, and relevant banner designs take costly creative efforts, thus we all let AdSense dominate with a lousy solution for content sites.
So when a friend who works at Dapper told me about MashupAds, which just launched, it instantly sounded like a great idea. Let advertisers stream relevant graphic ads directly from their published content, no need to work on separate creatives (which is a major pain over text ads), and give content startups another turnkey monetization alternative, helping them optimize their targeting by easily specifying the exact hints to use on the page. Dapper’s demos also show the visual advantage of banner ads over text ads in certain cases, but that is, of course, assuming the visual does look good and fits the target site. In fact, I can already guess requests start flowing to Dapper from early adopters – “…can I change the layout of that ad? that pinky background really doesn’t look good on my purple background!”… good luck with that, Avner!