I suppose I cannot use Google as a pure model of unobtrusive advertising. They’ve apparently added the ability to use Flash ads in their ad serving network. I suppose they had to do something to stay competitive and I haven’t really heard anyone weigh in one way or another on their overlay video ads.
Looking at the samples, they don’t seem any different than the same kind of ads I find on the IT magazine sites on which I often find stories of interest. I don’t know if Google’s presumed improved ability to target will make these any more palatable. Personally, the last thing I want to do when I see these gumming up a site is click through.
I don’t see anything in their press release on any limits on how these will be deployed, so we could see a rise in the noisy pages from sites participating in Ad Words. Also, I don’t see any details on whether customers can opt-out of serving these ads. I don’t know, not using Ad Words, how much control Google gives client sites in general.
My gut tells me this is not a clear win for anyone except Google. The fact that they are touting the portability of and the ability to embed these ads, like YouTube videos on your social profile page of the moment, says there are some conflicting pressures behind this move.