# Picture Gmail rollin'...out images to ads

“Gawley said the image used in the ad would be static, not animated, and would be used only in cases where the e-mail message itself showed images,” writes Stross.

That's fine and all, but it's not functional. My stance on advertising is make it useful. Serve a function, and you'll be fine. Wallflower ads don't so much serve a function as much as they're just served. They're just there - like the Kardashians. But instead of infusing valuable functionality, adding images to ads only makes them prettier (to extend the analogy, the image ads are Kim and the text ads are her sisters, who's-she #1 and who's-she #2).

The argument can be made that the images serve a function by attracting eyeballs. Yes, but then who's to say those eyeballs will lead to mouse-clicks. Regardless of what Facebook ad sales chief Carolyn Everson says, mouse-clicks matter to marketers. But just as I never intentionally click on a display ad, I'm less likely to intentionally click on a display ad while I'm checking my email.

This follows the First Law of Display-dynamics: My attention can be neither created nor destroyed, so to attract a share to Point A is to divert a share from Point B. The appropriate corrollary is Newton's Law of Online Gravitation which holds that the more I'm engaged with Point A, the less I'm concerned with Point B, unless Point B's interactive value is greater or equal to thing 1.

Taken together, the laws' lovechild equates that for Point B to attract attention, it must solve the following: Divide the potential value of Point B by the potential time required by Point B and subtract from that quotient the known value of Point A. If the solution is a positive integer, Point B wins; if the solution is a negative integer, Point A wins. If the solution is a fraction, it's a toss-up. The more positive the solution, the more likely Point B wins, and the more negative the solution, the more likely Point A wins. Fractional solutions are toss-ups.

Here's another way to evaluate the equation, with Point B as a constant equaling a display ad's landing page that opens in a new tab or window. If Point A is a search engine results page, the solution is a fraction of varying size. If Point A is a content page such as a blog, the solution is a single-to-double-digit integer. If Point A is a Gmail or Facebook page, the solution resembles a Publisher's Clearing House check.

To put it yet another way, there's a reason Nascar places ads on the outside of cars versus plastering them across the inside of the windshield. The more someone's engaged with one interest, the less likely they'll notice anything else.

So how then to add functionality to Gmail ads? Well, add functionality to them, i.e. stock them with interactive features that I can use without being ejected from my email, and make those features easy and quick to complete. There's a reason display ads are evolving to rich media formats that include in-ad features such as surveys instead of essays, just as there's a reason the Facebook “like” button is arguably used more often than Twitter's “tweet” button and exponentially more often than the comments box (I only have anecdotal evidence for this, but next time you check a news site compare the “likes” to tweets to comments).

As demonstrated by the Facebook “like,” consumers aren't averse to interaction, provided the interaction solves for aforementioned laws' lovechild. Plugged into the equation, Gmail's image ads are likely to return a negative integer.

## Google teams with Digitas on mobile research

 Best of... Weekly Daily Insider Events Weekly Hot List of the Day Sponsored Promotion Whitepaper of the Day DMNTech Roundup DMNTech Sponsored Promotion United States United Kingdom Canada Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo (DRC) Cook Islands Costa Rica Côte D'Ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Islands Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and Mcdonald Islands Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Korea Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and The Grenadines San Marino Sao Tome & Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia-Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Samoa Yemen Yugoslavia Zambia Zimbabwe

## Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

### Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.