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Digg: A real live test of ad creative

June 9, 2009

Relevant ads are “good” for consumers.

That’s the reason Google is so darned rich. When someone searches for something, Google throws up an ad relevant to the search. And Google’s new system of rewarding relevance by placing them higher and lowering the rate is a win/win for everyone. Make your ad more relevant, and Google delivers it more prominently for less money.

It’s all for the end user though – more relevant ads deliver a more relevant search experience for the end user. You know, the people who use Google.

Since it’s working so well for Google, you’d think someone would try to emulate the idea of rewarding relevance.

Enter Digg. Digg is a social news site. It’s the equivalent of e-mailing a link to your friends. But it actually works as a community of the most interesting things online (assuming you’re a male between the ages of, say, 10-25).

Digg thought, what if we did the same thing for ads that we do for articles? What if the community could Digg or Bury an ad?

Frapper: Map of Digg users
Image by inju via Flickr

Talk about your instant feedback. Here’s how Digg describes it:

“The more an ad is Dugg, the less the advertiser will have to pay. Conversely the more an ad is buried, the more the advertiser is charged, pricing it out of the system.”

Holy smokes, it’s just so Capitalist. Instead of the brand that makes the most noise, it’s the brand that makes the most sense. Instead of screaming at people, it’s offering an idea. An insight. It’s marketers adding value.

It’s so very cool. And scary, at the same time. Because it’s a real live test of the ability of an agency to get it right. No arguments. No excuses. People either like it and the agency wins, or they don’t and the agency doesn’t.

Create great ads on Digg and they could, in theory, be free.

This will make it even more important that the people creating ads for Digg (assuming we take a run at it) understand what the Digg world likes and doesn’t like.

The more I think about it, the more I think this is one of those ideas that have the possibility of really shaking things up. If it works, and Digg begins making money, it will be copied.

Facebook already has thumbs up/thumbs down icons on their ads. Make them a little more prominent, and it will happen on Facebook if it works on Digg.

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