Have you ever heard of a captcha? I hadn’t until just a few days ago. It is the challenge-response test used to ensure that a response is generated by a person and not a computer. The term is an acronym based on the word “capture” standing for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”
I have seen these distorted images countless times… and although they always annoyed me, I never really paid much attention to them until recently when I stumbled upon one of the cleverest advertisements I’ve seen in a long time.
This particular captcha caught my attention because instead of having a distorted background with angled type and crowded symbols, this was an advertisement placed by Yellowpages.com. All you had to do was enter the quoted text that just so happened to be their headline right next to the Yellow Pages logo and url. I couldn’t stop thinking about how ingenious this advertisement was.
Upon doing a little research, I found that there’s a small but growing market for these ads. In comparison to other online advertising such as web banner ads, you have the full attention of each user. And instead of frustrating the user with hard-to-read letters and numbers, it’s a refreshing and welcomed change. The ads can be targeted the same as banner ads, so the brand and websites are all engaging and worthwhile to the user. According to Solve Media, the brand recall is increased by 111% when the user is required to type in the message.
Although I haven’t had the opportunity place a captcha ad yet, I really look forward to doing so and tracking the results!