Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Evolutionary Events in Webcomic Advertising

Why is AdsDaq dropping webcomics? I'll throw out a theory for everyone to kick around, supported by no original research or data.

My theory is that AdsDaq is unable to serve effective ads on webcomic sites.

Consider how AdsDaq-acceptable sites differ from webcomics sites. ADQ sites offer mostly textual information. A typical advertisement fits well in that context.

Typical webcomics ads, meanwhile, don't achieve much traction outside of comic-gamer-t-shirt-land.

This is because webcomics are escapist art sites. Hard information is generally unwelcome, and successful ads tend to be webcomic-oriented.

ADQ ads, and the site adaptation they require, clash with the intent of a comic. Where ADQ might have missed an opportunity is recommending that its buyers develop comicky ads, and serve them to webcomics sites. In the end, webcomics might be too small a market for such stuff.

Joey Manley doesn't think so, which is why his company's advertising sales team is adding a webcomics division. Webcomicsworld steps into webcomic advertising with perfect timing. Of course, ADQ doesn't have Joey's long experience and connections in webcomics, and judging from their clumsy dismissal of long time clients, isn't adroit enough to adapt.

In the end, the clash of ADQ priorities with webcomic realities and needs created a cumbersome relationship that was a lot of bother even when it worked well. Who needs that? We've got options -- Joey's is one.

I regret the inconvenience to webcomic colleagues who used ADQ*, but I feel very upbeat about the future.


*We tried them on one of our titles, and were kicked off in less than 48 hours. I dislike companies that make you jump through hoops just to become a client, then reject you with a rude letter. I hardly think I'm alone.

Note: If you don't mind their cut-n-paste articles, there is a post on The Beat about this topic. Link in right column, lower.