Traditionally, advertisers had written off ad blocking users as being unreachable and, therefore, uninterested. Thankfully though, that thought process is rapidly changing.
When you consider the average person spends around 6 hours and 43 minutes online each day, it is vital for publishers and advertisers alike to have more in-depth insight into how these users engage with both content and online ads.
Ad block users don’t hate ads
Perhaps one of the most surprising things to learn about ad block users is that they don’t hate all ads, in fact the majority are emphatic to the role advertising plays in keeping the internet free. This was a key finding from an eyeo survey last year, undertaken by YouGov, to understand the attitudes of online users towards ad-blocking and advertising.
Approximately 75 percent of internet users understood the importance of adverts for the long-term sustainability of a free internet ecosystem. Ad block users respect the digital ecosystem but at the same time they don’t want advertising formats that disrupt their browsing experience.
Ad block users; smarter than the average bear.
With that in mind, the second key finding of interest to publishers and advertisers alike is the fact that ad block users are young, educated, tech-savvy and earning more than an average salary. They are 80 per cent more likely to make purchases online, making them a crucial user base for advertisers.
So surely if this is the case, the question the buy-side should be asking amongst its teams, is “Are my ads reaching this segment? And if not, why not?”
This is why we want to continue to educate the publishing and advertising communities about the vitally important role that ad filtering plays in reaching this key demographic.
Ads that add to the browsing experience; not diminish it
In its earliest form, ad blocking – as a concept and a technology – was uncompromising, blocking all forms of advertising. But today’s ad blocking users are happy to receive ads as long as they are not intrusive and do not hinder their browsing experience.
We know without a shadow of doubt, the majority of ad block users understand the role advertising plays in keeping the internet free and that they are happy to receive adverts, rather than block them all together.
How advertisers can reach the ad block user demographic
Critically, advertisers have to learn that this huge segment of online users are not lost to them; they are still there and waiting for stakeholders in the digital advertising supply chain to recognise the trend towards ad filtering and adapt to this new reality.
So what do advertisers need to know in order to reach this hugely valuable demographic?
Most importantly, ads need to be delivered in a manner that does not disrupt the user experience. This is why we encourage advertisers to embrace the open ecosystem that has developed around Acceptable Ads and which can provide an immense amount of value to publishers, brands, agencies, ad-tech vendors and end-users.
From our own investigations, we know ad blocking users are respectful of the role advertising plays in keeping the internet free and that they only want to see consent-based ads. Let’s hope that the most innovative and forward-thinking advertisers out there learn to understand this better, and develop better ways of giving this valuable demographic of users what they desire.