Lame banner ads are one of the internet’s most persistent conundrums, but a new app is offering a simple solution. Just replace them all with something the internet loves—pictures of adorable cats.
A new website, www.IWantMoreCats.com, invites visitors to press a button, promising the action will lead to fewer banner ads cluttering their screens, and more photos that will make them go “awwww.”
It’s the brainchild of Pressboard—a native advertising company that connects marketers to publishers like Vox Media—and it uses simple retargeting technology, because the only thing better than fewer banner ads might be fewer banner ads bombarding you with pictures of the rubber clogs you accidentally clicked on that one time.
To be fair, it’s an uphill battle. But regardless of how well it works in the long run, it’s a fun idea. Adweek caught up with Pressboard co-founder and CEO Jerrid Grimm for a quick Q&A on the new app—read on for more details on the thinking behind it, a sneak peek at how it might look, and insight into what types of other cute animals might feature in future versions.
Adweek: Why are you doing this, really?
Jerrid Grimm: First off, it’s fun and who couldn’t use a little bit of fun right now? Secondly, it helps to advance our mission at Pressboard. Our not-so-secret goal is to help all companies market themselves through stories and in doing so, slowly rid the world of banner ads. People just don’t like ads, not advertisers, not publishers and definitely not consumers. The only ones that seem to love banner ads are the bots. But, if the banners were gone, what would fill those empty spaces on the internet? The obvious answer was cats.
You say 100 percent of people would rather see cats than banner ads. This number seems suspiciously high. Did you make it up, or did the cats?
We actually expected the number to be higher. While our test group was relatively small, you can do the survey yourself to confirm our findings. Ask the next 5 people you see which they prefer, looking at banner ads, or looking at pictures of adorable cats. If you do come across someone that says they prefer banner ads, run, run like hell.
Where are the cats now? Are they already in my computer?
It turns out the cats were always there, they were hiding behind those banner ads this whole time! Our technology simply removes the banner ad so that you can see the cats in all their glory. It takes a little while until you start seeing them, but they’re there, be patient, cats don’t like to be rushed.
How much of my data will the cats collect?
Like all cats, they start by staring deep into your soul. Most of the cats know everything they need to know about you from a single glance. Except for the European cats that is, we made sure that they don’t learn anything about you. Our cats are fully GDPR compliant.
How does it work, really?
The best part is that we are using banner ads against themselves. When you go to IWantMoreCats.com and press the “Show me the cats!” button, we start retargeting you, but instead of showing you ads for a product you just finished buying, we retarget you with pictures of cats. While the adtech companies are busy sipping rose on their yachts in Cannes, we are using their own technology to take their banner ads down. It’s purrfect.
What is Pressboard, apart from a diehard member of the cat lobby?
Our side hustle is helping brands market themselves through stories, instead of ads. We build technology that makes it incredibly easy to get a story on any major media publisher in just a few clicks. We believe that the world would be better with a lot more stories, a lot more cats and a lot fewer banner ads.
When will you be releasing a dog version of the app?
We have plans to release several more versions of the app. Dogs are the obvious next choice but there are hundreds of things that people like seeing more things than banner ads. Pandas, babies, ice cream, people touching their eyeballs with their finger, almost anything is better than a banner ad. You can send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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