After ending their exclusive ad deal with Microsoft one year early, Digg has just announced plans to let their users Digg or in fact, bury their forthcoming advertisements.
The new advertising platform, appropriately called Digg Ads will give users control over what advertisements they see and, interestingly, how much the advertiser pays. The more an advertisement is dugg, the less the advertiser is charged and conversely, the more an ad is buried the more expensive it will become for the advertiser and consequently, the advertiser will eventually be priced out of the system.
The new ad platform will launch as a pilot (equivalent to a beta?) for a few months whilst they work out how best to run the system.
According to Mike Maser, Digg’s latest recruit and new Chief Revenue Officer:
“The goal here is to give advertisers a way to present content related to their brands and get immediate input on whether it’s relevant to the Digg audience, or not.”
A screenshot was provided to give a better idea of how it’s likely to look:
What’s immediately obvious and rather surprising is that the ads aren’t your standard 300×300 flash squares but rather like your standard Digg story, blended in amongst the other standard Digg stories. This is unquestionably likely to attract the eye more and with any luck, increase number of impressions, and hopefully prevent “Adblock Plus” and other ad-blocking tools from hiding them. Sites like Digg (and us!) need ads to stay alive and this is a creative way to actually make ads interesting.
Whilst both interesting and inspiring in many respects, Kevin Rose & Co must realise the blatant loopholes within the system. Aside from potential competitors burying ads, they’ll need to deal with Apple fan boys who’ll instinctively bury Microsoft ads, marketing agencies who will simply give up in frustration unable to create ads Digg users are satisfied with and all that aside, each ‘ad’ is likely to have to deal with the masses of typical Digg commentary slating every aspect of it and the company behind it.
That’s not to say there aren’t ways to make it work, but the team at Digg have a mission ahead of them and it won’t be easy.