Gotcha: The captcha meets advertising

You never know where advertising or product placement will rear its ugly head these days. Sometimes It’s benign and other times it’s slap you in the face with a handful of linguini obvious. Today, I’ve got a linguini story.

I hate captchas, but I hate spam more. So, I begrudgingly put the squiggly letters and numbers into the box when I’m asked to do so. Imagine my surprise when Mapquest used the captcha to advertise Verizon FiOS (see below).



It’s one thing to make me see an ad for FiOS, but it’s totally another thing to make me have a prolonged relationship with the ad. As a consumer, I see the advertiser name, I commit it to memory, and then I type it. That’s three times the product infiltrates my mind.  Sure, it’s a little over the top. However, I think it’s pretty brilliant.

I’m frequently the first to complain when advertising or product placement goes too far. But, utilizing the captcha is too darn clever for me to ignore. As users, we’d have to jump through the captcha hurdle anyway. So, if Mapquest can find a way to monetize it, more power to ‘em!

What do you think? Are you more inclined to remember a product if you’re forced to interact with it in this way?

17 comments:

  1. http://goo.gl/uq2Yc

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  2. http://goo.gl/uq2Yc

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  3. Truly an amazing idea! Its really irritating to enter the Captcha's, but thinking about all the people who try to take disadvantage of the place where Captcha's are not set, by spamming, I would say its really good to have one! 

    And this advertising technique really works well, just by reading this post and seeing that image, and not even being a part of that scenario, I have the name FiOS in my head now, its just the thing ad companies would want! 

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  4. Isn't it clever? I can't seem to forget FiOS, either. And that's an advertiser's dream come true.

    I haven't seen this technique used before and I think it's bloody brilliant. Kudos to the person who thought of it!

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  5. Yes, I'd remember the product but not in a good way. I'd think, "oh yeah, that's the company with the stoopid captcha ad that really p***ed me off." 

    Maybe it's just me, but I find it really annoying. Still, if they can monetize successfully, like you said, more power to them. 

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  6. I haven't experienced this yet, but I think it's pretty freaking clever!

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  7. Hey Travis,

    Ordinarily something like this might annoy me, but it really is completely harmless. We have to do the captcha anyway, and it's a great gimmick to remember the ad. I say it’s a smart revenue move for Mapquest and a win for FiOS.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject, Travis!

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  8. Hey Travis,

    Ordinarily something like this might annoy me, but it really is completely harmless. We have to do the captcha anyway, and it's a great gimmick to remember the ad. I say it’s a smart revenue move for Mapquest and a win for FiOS.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject, Travis!

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  9. Ha ha! Ricardo says thumbs down. Your distain has been noted, my friend ;-)

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  10. My brain has long ago turned to mush now that I am in social; you might have to tattoo it on me to remember at this point, and I'm not really joking. 

    I'll typically jump through a few hoops, but if it becomes too much like work it will probably lose me; true story. 

    Good to see you; thanks for sharing. 

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  11. Oh, I'm totally not a fan of captchas. But, if a business utilizes one for its services, I think it's a bright idea to find a way to create some revenue from it.

    Can I tattoo ANYTHING on you???? ;-)

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  12. Amber,

    I'm not a real big fan of the captcha.  When I see them, I try not to have to interact with them.

    You said something above - "forced to interact with it." 

    Yes, pretty brilliant.  But I think also pretty shifty.

    Just my 2 cents...

    ~Keri

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  13. Hey Keri,

    Don't get my wrong. I'm not a fan of the captcha. However, if a company provides a free service and wants to utilize a captcha, I don't generally object. I'd rather see a captcha than a pop up any day! :-)

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  14. What a fantastic idea.  The very fact that we have to memorize it is genius.

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  15. Interesting blog. I wish Indian Advertising Agencies will also learn from you people. 

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