AdPinion: Vote for the Ads You Want

adpinionlogo.pngAdpinion is a new startup trying to get rid of the antagonism between advertisers and web surfers by letting you vote for the ads you want. How you vote determines what ads you and other visitors see when visiting an Adpinion network site.

The most basic types of online advertising (banner ads) are widely disliked; an example of this is the increasing interest in ad blockers (40 on Firefox alone). In response, Google and others are continuing to evolve their contextual advertising engines. Adpinion’s solution is to empower users to choose their advertisers.

Adpinion collects your preferences through a voting bar that sits along the left hand side of their embeddable ad unit. You can vote an ad up or down using the thumbs up or thumbs down buttons. How you vote on each ad contributes to a profile of your ad preferences and the ad profile for the site overall. Adpinion serves ads based on your own preferences, but also recommends ads based on the ads liked by of users similar to you.

Advertising rates will be based on clicks and related to how close ads match your preferences. Rates vary by how closely the ads relate to your preferences, with ads costing more as they become less relevant.

The ad banner does have the drawback of being wider than standard units, 468 x 60 units, due to the voting bar. They have additional unit sizes planned.

The user feedback model leaves me wondering if they’ll get enough feedback to do a better job than automated systems or highly targeted sites. The big question is whether people are interested enough to use Adpinion’s voting system or will simply ignore it.

For their launch, they’ve lined up only a few advertisers (37 Signals, CrazyEgg, Mint, …) and have filled the remnant space with auto generated Amazon ads. They plan on building out the network to a self serve model, but haven’t finished the publisher and advertiser management tools. Adpinion is a Y Combinator company based in Boston and started last year by the three founders Luke Iannini, Mike Jacobs, and Kevin Corcoran.