Barry Wallace

Published: October 8, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Wow. I just went to the Disney site and on the first thing I clicked on - The Haunted Mansion page - I was assaulted by an AT&T video clip and a banner ad. Talk about taking you out of the theming of the site!

As a web professional, I understand the need for corporate ads and sponsorship but never at the expense of the user experience. And while product placement is common in movies and TV, it's typically downplayed (unless you're watching The Dead Zone) and when it's not it can generate a negative vibe to the viewer.

And I can only imagine what the typical Imagineer might think about the "bad show" this video clip and graphic ad present. It's not that the clip is itself annoying... it's just an AT&T commercial. But coming up automatically when the surround Flash site is trying to build an "aura of foreboding" is like seeing a commercial for Windex Glass Cleaner (tm) broadcast in Madam Leota's crystal ball before you even see her...

Bruce Lane

Published: October 8, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Assuming you're using Firefox, there's a couple of nice extensions which will greatly reduce the death-by-banner-ads issue. Specifically, Adblock Plus and NoScript. Between those two, it is unlikely you'd ever be plagued again.

I can't say I'm surprised, BTW. The overload of ads and eye-distractions on the web seems to be a pandemic in the business world, and blockers seem the only truly effective way to fight back.

As for Busch, and their euphemistically-named "Worlds of Discovery" site, well... two words: Singularly unimpressed.

Happy browsing.

Derek Potter
Writer

Published: October 8, 2009 at 7:50 PM

If anything, the park website blogs serve as good advertising for a real and informative blog such as this one. I wonder if someone can somehow slip a TPI plug through the cracks on the Disney site.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: October 8, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Bruce, I use Firefox with pop-ups blocked, but even with various other anti-ad options, I couldn't find a way to stop the Disney video ads. They are part of the Flash animation of the page itself. So if you somehow stop that animation, you're unable to look at any of the rest of the page. It's a really insidious way to force an ad view.