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Ad Blockers: Are They Taking Over?

Once upon a time, an advertiser’s main concern was whether audiences would respond to an ad. Today, that concern has shifted to whether audiences will even see an ad.

In an ever-growing trend, savvy surfers are skipping the promotions and heading straight to the content by using (free) ad blocking software. And this has caused no small problem for advertisers.

  • The world’s most popular ad blocking application, Adblock Plus, has been downloaded over 500 million times.
  • The number of active daily users has gone up from 21 million in 2010 to 181 million in 2015.
  • Ad blocking allegedly cost the ad industry $22 billion in 2015 alone, and consulting firm Ovum predicts that by 2020 it’ll have accounted for another $35 billion in losses.

Even as marketing professionals, we get it. A lot of online ads are just plain annoying – and as long as that’s true, ad blocking isn’t going anywhere.

Our recommendation? Rise above the standard fare and show consumers that not all ads are bad.

  • Opt out of auto-play. There’s nothing worse than visiting a site only to be bombarded by a strange voice shouting about floor cleaner. Rather than engage in a frantic search for the source of interruption, many will leave the site altogether; and that’s no good for anyone.
  • Keep it simple. If people don’t want to see ads, they certainly don’t want to work for ads. Make sure your content is clear, engaging and accessible.
  • Avoid gimmicky graphics. No one’s going to click on that flashing “50% OFF” ad (at least, not on purpose). You might think the theatrics will help you stand out from the crowd, and they will – but not in a good way! A classy, well-designed image has a better shot at catching eyes.

What would make you stop using an ad blocker? Leave a comment and let us know!

Image by Fabián Alexis is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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