TMRW SG | Blog | In Memoriam

(Photo by Yulia Mostova)


In Memoriam In loving memory of the dearly and nearly departed ad formats Singaporeans all hate so much.

Thank you all for coming.

It is a sombre day, but not a dark one. For we gather not to mourn the ad formats we have lost, but to remember how they have touched our lives, over the years, over and over and over again.

Though they may have passed from popularity, their legacies live on, in us, and in campaigns that persist in using obsolete ad units that actively infuriate your target audience.

And now, a moment of silence, for...

SMS/WhatsApp Ads

In this era of scams and shams, no one trusts the random communiqué. It’s almost invasive to drop a text to customers that they were compelled by legalese to receive. Once left on read, these are now reported and blocked and dead on arrival.

Door Flyer Ads

An actual climate change criminal who burdened recipients with its disposal. No other ad format so followed the harassment practices of a loan shark, or has been crushed and destroyed by so many with so much righteous anger.

Clickbait Ads

With sensationalist headlines and literally unbelievable claims, the gilded child of advertising has been used to sell everything and absolute nothings. Spotted most often at the end of an online article, these days they usually come with a deepfaked photo of a local celeb who has either disrupted a $7.9 billion industry or uncovered a medical conspiracy that 10 out of 10 doctors don’t want you to know about.

But with a rise in digital literacy, these linguistic lures rarely get bites. Widely ridiculed and recognised as the bottom-feeders they are, these bottom-positioned ads are left unloved, unnoticed and unclicked.

Pop-up Ads

There is a dark side to every industry, and just as Frankenstein and Oppenheimer lamented the inhumanity they had wrought, so too did Ethan Zuckerman, the father of the pop-up ad, who said thus, “I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.”

Once, the pop-up spectre haunted the internet, obscuring content and refusing exorcism until the almighty cross (or “X”) was applied. Now, it has been expelled to the unholiest malware-ridden sites, driven into the dark by Google’s new policy that penalises websites with “[p]ages that show intrusive interstitials” that “frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content they were expecting”.

Let us bid these formats R.I.P., and hope that others that continue to mislead and irritate can likewise leave us in peace.

Eldon Ooi