We have all used websites that contain copious amounts of ads. Some examples include news sites and citation machines. The ads showcase bogus products, display shady links, or even have distasteful pictures. In general, they’re pretty annoying to look at and click on. An ad blocker is a standard tool used for clearing up a web page. However, we wondered if there was a way we could solve the issue of clickbait ads without removing images. From this idea, Ad Absurdum was born.
What it does
Ad Absurdum emulates a conventional ad blocker in that it is able to detect ads on a webpage. However, instead of removing ads, it replaces them with homemade parodies of memes from the 2010s. These elegant memes are tastefully made and benign— they will not redirect you to other sites, nor will they corrupt your device with malware. Ad Absurdum instantly improves the visual consistency of any webpage. More importantly, it turns harmful distractions into harmless, silly ones that will brighten your day.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Firstly, we are so proud of the graphics featured in Ad Absurdum. All of the hand-drawn icons and beautiful memes, inspired by real memes (and our pets), were laboriously crafted by Sandini and Corey. The consistent colour scheme and graphics style made for an aesthetically unified chrome extension.
What we learned
We are pretty new to hackathons! Impractical Hacks is Sandini’s 1st hackathon, Corey's 2nd hackathon, Kirsten’s 3rd hackathon, and Lavan’s 4th hackathon. As such, we learned a lot from creating Ad Absurdum!
Sandini picked up basic HTML! She learned to set up files and code using TextEdit.
Corey acquired new skills in graphic design when putting together Ad Absurdum’s beautiful graphics. They designed the logo and header using Autodesk Sketchbook and Pixlr Photo Editor. Corey also learned how to better navigate GitHub.
What's next for Ad Absurdum
We would love to keep adding to Ad Absurdum’s reservoir of memes! More memes and more meme categories mean that the novelty of Ad Absurdum’s hilarium will never get old.
We would also like to improve Ad Absurdum to detect the aspect ratios of ads by identifying the ad’s container and either resizing our ad to fit within it or choosing an ad with a more fitting aspect ratio for the ad’s container. At the moment, our ads sometimes get cut off due to our dimensions not matching the original ad’s container’s size. This would minimize the distortion/cropping of our exquisite memes.
In addition, we would like to increase the list of URLs that redirect to our memes, since they currently only redirect ads hosted by doubleclick.net.
Finally, we would like to implement a feature allowing users to upload their own memes to replace advertisements, as this would allow for not only ours but also any user’s silly creativity to shine in their everyday browsing!