Apple MacOS High Sierra turns its guns on auto-play and remarketing

Will Ads re-discover the art of silent moviemaking?

I installed MacOS High-Sierra this week and found myself sucked into one of those inevitable ‘what’s new about…’ tours, rather like a reluctant Gen X tourist stuck on a tiki tour with delightful millennials. What I found was blood on the floor and the promise of more.

In quickly became apparent that ‘high noon’ isn’t anywhere near ‘approaching’ for online advertisers, they’re already in the midst of a gunfight and the air is thick with the stink of gunpowder and fear.

Those of us in content marketing and inbound marketing, the disciplines of adding value to your customer’s experience, can only salivate as ‘permission’ based marketing gets another boost.

Bye bye baby for auto-play

Safari, MacOS High Sierra’s web browser, says ‘goodbye auto-play’ – and I couldn’t be more relieved. I hate triggering Ads that explode like a stick of dynamite, startling the peace and tranquillity of an industrious office. Suddenly everybody knows I’m browsing the New Zealand Herald website when I would rather they didn’t.

I feel sorry for the New Zealand Herald, and other media sites caught up in the war on advertising. Journalism deserves to be rewarded, but “Safari now stops auto-play for video with sound – so you can browse the web in peace. When you’re ready to watch, click the play button”.

Google and Facebook in the line of fire

And Apple has just fired a shot across Google and Facebook’s bows, raising interesting questions about who’s the real sheriff in Internet town – the wagon makers, or the road builders?

“Browse without being tracked,” says Apple. “Remember when you looked at that mountain bike online? And then saw mountain bike Ads everywhere you browsed? Safari now removes cross‑site tracking data – so it’s more difficult for advertisers to follow you.”

The ability to stay front and centre with customers who have expressed an interest in a product is not that intrusive and, I think, a valuable service. It’s hardly irritating, so I’m not sure why Apple would turn on remarketing, but there it is – shots fired.

Return to the art of silent moviemaking, only for Ads

The death of a blaring soundtrack triggered by auto-play Ads is great. It’s an invasive tactic. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I don’t mind auto-play without the sound because I largely ignore the Ads – they’re seldom relevant to me.

Can I suggest that advertisers and marketers think about a return to the art of the silent movie? Even better, black and white may be the way to go. Forget sub-titles. Like re-marketing, it’s lazy. Just imagine the artistic demands and creative genius such limitations would impose.

Develop better conversion strategies on your website

Let’s face it. Remarketing is a smart and useful tool, but it’s also a lazy tactic.

Websites should work harder to engage visitors the first time around. If they leave without some form of engagement, like opting into an eBook or special offer, then your conversion process needs to work harder.

The solution is simple. Put more effort into getting to know your visitors instead of trying to get a home run within seconds of meeting.

No doubt the Ad industry will fight back, just as some websites tell you to ‘Pause AdBlock’ before allowing you to go any further – but at least these websites are giving the user a choice; unlike those annoying auto-play Ads.

P.S. If your advertising options are shrinking, consider content marketing or public relations or, consider this, newsworthy advertising — in other words Ads that are relevant, timely and issues based. To find out what makes press releases, and any other content newsworthy, read our free guide on the subject. Click the button below to begin your download of The Executive’s Guide to Newsworthiness below.


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