My friend Anthony pointed me to something I hadnâ€™t noticed on the Weblogâ€™s Inc. AutoBlog. In between entries are ads that have blog-style comments enabled.
See the ad at the bottom of this entry on AutoBlog.com for Subaru followed by the link to â€œComment on the Subaru Legacyâ€??. Click the link and youâ€™ll see a page with the ad at the top, followed by comments from real Subaru owners.
Basically, the ad has become a blog entry, where readers can say what they want about the product in the ad. It is run by something called "Focus-ads" whose tag line is â€œtransparency in advertisingâ€??. It appears to be a Weblogs Inc thing.
Could this be a model for the future? I think it's a really interesting way to do blog advertising because it introduces a truly social element to the ad. The ad is not so much about what Subaru has to say, but how it prompts users to say things about Subaru.
Of course, the advertiser assumes a significant risk that the commenters don't turn against the product, creating an ad followed by caustic comments by readers. If that's the case, then maybe its a chance for the advertiser to see what people really think, in public.
I have a feeling that the advertisers who are prepared to take this kind of plunge are few right now, but I bet we'll be seeing more and more take the plunge.