Talk about irony. Software firm Blazing Logic is using pop-up ads, those small ad windows that appear in separate browsers as people surf the Web, to sell software to help consumers eliminate pop-up ads.
“Are you tired of seeing annoying 'pop-up' ads like this one all the time?” reads Blazing Logic's pop-up ad copy. “Are you sick of seeing ads just like this one popping up on your screen disrupting your private Internet browsing experience & invading your privacy? Would you like this to be the last annoying 'pop-up' ad you ever have to deal with?”
The ad then invites prospects to click to learn more about NoPop! anti-pop-up software, a downloadable application priced at $24.95.
“We've arrived to rid the Internet of these annoying ads forever and give you, the Internet user, your freedom back!” says copy on the landing page.
Well, not quite.
Blazing Logic is a division of Lions Pride Enterprises Inc., Carlsbad, CA, which makes it a sister division to Rankyou.com, a marketing services firm that buys lots of pop-up ad inventory for clients — 80 million to 100 million impressions monthly.
So while one arm of the company is using pop-ups to sell anti-pop-up software, another arm is buying a slew of pop-up ad inventory.
“It's like big tobacco doing a campaign for tobacco gum,” company spokesman LaMonte Guillory said.
However, he said, Blazing Logic's pop-up campaign is not killing the proverbial goose. Rather, it is cleaning the Internet of some useless ad inventory.
“The person who buys a product such as NoPop! doesn't want to view pop-ups,” Guillory said. “So losing that person doesn't hurt you at all because now you're able to serve pop-ups to more people who want to see them. Who wants to spend money on ad inventory on someone who is not interested?”
And while cleaning Internet ad inventory of the non-responders, Blazing Logic may as well make a little money on them, right?
“Precisely,” Guillory said. “Someone has to do it.”
Pop-ups are the subject of an ongoing debate in Internet marketing: They work, yet at the same time annoy the heck out of consumers. EarthLink Inc. recently added a feature that lets subscribers block pop-up advertisements, and iVillage recently banned them from its site, citing women's frustration with them.
However, pop-ups are estimated to be five to 10 times as effective at getting people to click through them as banners and other larger online ad formats.
“We advise our advertisers that the click-through rate and response rate to the pop-up is still the industry leader,” Guillory said. “That is undisputed.”