Never-Ending Video Ads

What is it with those advertising videos that go on and on and on and on and on…

TV in stream
Photo by Photography Maghradze PH on Pexels.com

Have you ever clicked on a video presentation for something that looked vaguely interesting and wondered when it was going to get to the point?

The videos I’m talking about don’t show that blue line line of progress when your cursor hovers at the bottom, so you don’t know how long the video will last and can’t fast-forward to skip any of it.

I left one on in the background last week, just to see how long it went on. The screen didn’t like me not watching. A triangle-framed exclamation mark appeared on the browser tab showing the words ‘missed message’ until I returned to the screen that was showing the presentation.

When I first encountered one of these adverts it seemed counter-productive to me, to go on so long that potential buyers gave up watching. I Googled to find if there was a point to such time-wasting.

Apparently, the theory is that when people have invested a lot of time in learning what product produces the claimed results, they are more likely to buy it.

Maybe some people are.

I turned off last week’s video without reaching the end. The dogs wanted their walk. Life’s too short.

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These presentations often pop up on Facebook, but I tend not to click on Facebook ads anyway these days. I once ordered a shirt I liked the look of on a day when I ordered other stuff online and forgot to note that I’d ordered the shirt.

I remembered it months later when I was asked to pay duty on its final arrival in the UK. (I thought at first this was a scam, but the order numbers matched.)

I had seen nothing on the original order screen that hinted that it was coming from the US, never mind that it was apparently coming by rowing boat and would have taxes due.

I am more careful now. If I can’t identify the origin of the ad, I don’t buy. Online purchasing has been a boon during lockdown and when searching for rare items (like parts for old equipment) but caveat emptor.

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And where is the logic in Facebook and Amazon showing me ‘targeted’ ads for items I’ve just bought?

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angry computer user

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What surprises have you received following online orders?

26 thoughts on “Never-Ending Video Ads

  1. Hi Cathy, here in my neck of the woods, scams, phishers and fraudsters abound and people literally can lose millions in seconds. It is a genuine problem and our Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has warned us against clicking on links and stuff so as not to be phished or scammed. So I do not reply to online orders as I know these can invite trouble. This is a downside to digitalisation. But life has to go on and we have to circumvent it, to move ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Youtube is or was the world’s second-biggest search engine, after Google. I made a few video adverts, you have the ability to see how long people watch the videos. If they bail out during the first few seconds where it says “skip ad”, as an advertiser you don’t pay. I found for those who carried on past this point a lot of people stopped watching at about 30 seconds. I made my ads shorter as a consequence.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hate these. I bought some sonic toothbrushes for Christmas presents after watching an impressive video. (only a former dental assistant would buy toothbrushes for Christmas presents!) As soon as I pressed enter on my payment, the wrong delivery address showed up. I immediately try to change it, and couldn’t. Part of the order went to our old address and a friend sent it to me. The rest of the order never arrived. I tried it and it made one of my teeth hurt. I learned the hard way. Ouch!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m still waiting for dog beds I ordered before Christmas. The company said they were having supply problems – which seemed possible – and to expect delivery in February, but I’m about to ask for my money back as soon as that calendar flips. What chance do you suppose I have?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Maybe as much as I do. I couldn’t even get an answer from the company about changing the shipping address. I wouldn’t mind, though if the product did what it was supposed to do – cleaned your teeth LOL.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I made mistakes back in a previous life ordering from ads in Sunday papers!! Your dog beds reminded me…I think. I wrote to the company saying they hadn’t arrived, and they asked for further details. I think I’d ordered from a different ad and company! And a tool set I ordered, arrived dolls size! A tv programme magazine I’d asked for, turned out to be a scam from an ad in a paper….the police informed me.
    Last year I was getting very frustrated by ads I think on channel 5 advertising dating for the over 50s, some simpering, eyelash flattering man!! Every break in the afternoon!
    Online? I think I only order from Ebay, Amazon and some shops?? Well, that’s what I tell myself…seems a lot of it lately….
    Just remembered an example where I came out much better off…my youngest daugher started enjoying playmobil. I went on their site and saw a Victorian Dolls house advertised for £19.99. Couldn’t understand how it was so cheap, but took a chance. Weeks later, it still hadn’t arrived and they hadn’t answered my emails. So I decided to give up and cancel the order. I got a phone call as I was waiting in the playground. The person advised me not to cancel the order as it had been an error, and it was an actual large dolls house priced at £129.99!!! We did receive it, but it was nightmare always falling apart…some people are never satisfied! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We live and learn. Actually I’m wary of Ebay. My daughter tried to sell something for me on there and got taken. She’d sent the item off after getting an email to say the payment had cleared, but the email was the spoof.
    We live and learn (or not).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My grandchildren seem very up to speed on such things. I ask for their advice about the possibility of a scam. They very quickly seem to figure out what is what. I have no way of knowing which is legitimate and which isn’t so I tend to stick to stores I can walk into.

    Liked by 3 people

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