Is it unsettling to anyone else that advertising companies seem to be the ones pushing the limits of the internet? I see examples of this every day, but the most obvious one is what Eyeblaster is doing. Check out this one (wait two seconds for the advert to appear -- it'll scare you). I didn't even know you could run a Flash .swf underneath the text like that. The first time I saw this, it annoyed the hell out of me. But I've gained an appreciation of its... ingenuity. Another progressive advertising group (did I just say "progressive advertising"?) to ponder is 2advanced, especially the Lasik Plus Surgery site they did.
Someone today pointed me to a new advertising concept that Playboy.com is doing, which has in some ways turned to the TV model of advertising (force them to watch the advert, or at least wait). When you go to the site, you get a full 30-second advert that you have to watch first, before getting to the, er, content. (The advert itself is interesting too: Hugh Hefner doing a voice-over for a Jack Daniels flash animation.)
And C|Net is also reporting about another boundary-pushing advertising development in which users who go to certain sites (say, 1-800-Flowers.com) get a popup advert for a competitor (say, FTD.com). Gator.com is the guilty company creating this.
Why is this unsettling? I guess because I expect that artists -- or at least engineers -- should be pushing the medium. Sure, there are some good art sites out there, but how many of them give you a sense of discovering new cognitive or social territory?
(I'd recommend ArtByte magazine as a good place to see where the frisson begins, however.)