The Next Big Thing in online advertising: Captcha?

April 16th, 2010 by Chris Hogg Leave a reply »

You’ve seen captcha on many websites, even if you don’t know what the word refers to; on sign-up forms for websites you’re often given a box of squiggly text and asked to identify the characters inside. The characters are randomly generated and use to prove you’re a person rather than a bot signing up to the site. Here is an example of what they look like.

Almost everyone who has ever signed up for something on the Internet has seen Captcha. Now, an ad agency has found an interesting business idea: monetizing captcha and allowing advertisers to buy the space.

According to, A company called AdCopy is currently testing captcha ads, meaning advertisers can buy the captcha space on a website so when someone is signing-up, they are forced to engage with a brand. AdCopy reportedly boasts a self-serve advertising platform where advertisers can create and upload ads. Rather than squiggly characters, this service allows advertisers to ask Web users to answer a question related to the ad, orĀ  read the ad and provide information from within.‘s example:

By entering “180 savings,” the user is immediately engaging with the ad and is forced to read it. The advertiser wins because every person must engage with the ad. And the consumer is not overly hassled because it’s simple to do. And as notes, the consumer may actually benefit from being able to read clean text on ads rather than small or hard-to-read text on some captcha.

Advertisers are always looking for new ways to reach people, and this method seems to be well thought-out because it guarantees 100 percent engagement for anyone who wants to sign-up at the site.

There are some setbacks when it comes to spammers getting around captcha (check out the report for details), but overall I think it’s a great idea for advertisers and site owners looking for new monetization ideas.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

More in advertising (14 of 22 articles)