Ads are everywhere aren’t they?
Ever stop and think about why there are ads packed into every tight little crevice of the internet?
See, sites that offer things for free (like Google or Snapchat) aren’t doing it because they love you. They might put some lofty, feel-good mission statement on their Company Bio page about how they are “Changing the world one chat at a time” or “Organizing the world’s content to help people live better lives”… but in reality that’s a lie.
It’s a nice happy lie, as opposed to a dirty slap-you-in-the-ass kinda lie, but a lie nonetheless. There is no political correctness here folks, let’s call it for what it is.
This happy lie is what drives a lot of today’s technology, and overall it’s a good thing.
What are some of the largest Internet companies/apps you can think of? Pokemon Go? Facebook? Evernote? Instagram?
All those things are free… and if it’s free… then YOU are the product they are selling.
Sure, some of these companies have paid upgrades and add-ons – but their core product is free… so they can sell your eyeballs to advertisers.
Now please don’t think that all companies that offer free, ad-driven products are bad. They’re not, they’re actually really smart.
Sidenote about smart people: I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I think the Kardashians are really smart people. It’s the American public, that watch their show, who are the dumb ones. If you or I were in their shoes, we would have done the same exact thing = milk it for all it’s worth.
Back to the story…
I’ve played plenty of free iPhone games that are loaded with ads. I talk to Google more than I talk to most people in my family on a daily basis. I check Reddit at least a dozen times a day (r/pizza anyone?).
I use all those companies products for free but yet they are still making money off me by showing me ads… and I’m OK with that.
Here’s how it works: Advertiser “A” is financing the technology of Company “B” that allows me User “14433587” to ask a question and get an instant response in exchange for displaying Advertiser “A”s ad on the side of my screen. I don’t even have to click on the ad for Company “B” to get paid.
Simply having Advertiser A’s ad on my screen gives Company B some $.
But wait, there more! What’s this? A real life example?
Real Life Example
Now it’s time to get to the good stuff. The main course. The money shot. It’s time to discover the real reason you’re reading this.
When I sat down to write this article, I thought to myself “Self… I want to make the world a better place by enlightening users minds to how internet advertising really works”.
By now, I hope you’ve already sniffed this load for what it actually is.
In reality it was something like this “HHHmmm, how can I get more Toolkit sales without seeming like a huge tool”?
However, no genius ideas popped into my head, so I did what you probably would do when you have no good ideas… I played a few games of Splash Cars and did some Redditing (did you know that Frito-Lay created an environmentally friendly 100% compostable chip bag but had to remove it from the market because people complained that it was too noisy) and then… out of nowhere…. I had an idea.
A great idea.
I would tell an interesting story about internet advertising, get the reader hooked on my witty story-telling and then give away free banner ad templates and of course provide tons of links to the Toolkit throughout the article for readers to click on.
Now that’s a genius idea. Oh yeah!
I’m on to something here.
I can see it now… I give away some free files from the Toolkit, that way I can talk about the Toolkit, then more people will be exposed to the Toolkit, then people will buy the Toolkit then…. I can finally buy that Jet Pack I’ve had my eyes on for a while.
Elon Musk you can put that automatic driving Tesla in park… I’m jet packing my ass to the grocery store now!
This is a bullet-proof plan! I’m so excited.
Things are starting to get tingly!
It’s almost time to press the Publish button on my amazing article…
Except I Majorly Screwed It All Up
The entire point of giving something away for free (like free PSD banner ads) is to advertise something else so (hopefully) the person that got the free thing will spend the money and buy the paid thing.
However, there is one teeny-weeny little problem with my master plan of Jet Pack domination.
Nobody can join the Toolkit right now.
Nope, not even if they really, really wanted to.
Not even if they asked really nicely and sent me cute-kitty gifs for a week.
The registration for the Toolkit is closed until September.
My well thought out plan just crashed and burned.
The least I can do is move the free downloads to the bottom of the article, that way people will need to read the entire thing before they get to the free stuff.
Yeah, I’m gonna do that!
Click each image below to download a fully-editable Photoshop banner ad file from the Toolkit that you can use for anything (personal or commercial, no attribution required, just make something awesome).
Ian “Toolkit” Anderson
PS: I once saw an ad for a white iphone holder… it was not what I expected.