Earlier this week I was reading Engadget when all the sudden I became extremely distracted by a banner ad from Apple. I wasn't exactly sure why it had caught my attention so I scrolled down to take a look. After all, I, like most seasoned web surfers am able to tune out all but the most annoying of banner ads.
So what was it that caught my attention? Apple's blatant misuse of their screen real estate. Click play to watch the screencast I took of the page:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.jonnymac.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/itunes_video.swf" height="730" width="425" /]
I was immediately hit with a ton of questions: Does/will this give Flash a bad rep in banner advertising? Or even worse, Flash as a whole? Will this lead to even more abusive banner ads? Is this even really abuse of their real estate? Are there any standard rules about banner ads absorbing the content they are supporting?
A few minutes later I noticed that NYTimes.com runs the same ad, but without the spillover of animation -- did they restrict it and/or think it was abuse? Content is king on NYTimes.com so I am sure they wouldn't take lightly to a banner ad that, even for a few seconds, covers their articles.
I've worked in advertising, so I understand the need to compete against all the other "distractions" on a web page, but isn't this taking it a bit too far? I can also appreciate thinking outside the box, literally. But I also understand as a Flash Developer that it is abuses like this that give Flash a bad name with the general, non-technical public. To them Flash equals a distracting animation encroaching on the article they were trying to read, not a complex platform that can make their web experience more usable and enjoyable.