Will ad-blocking be the silver lining to a new age of great creative?

Associate Director - Mobile, MediaCom

Rhoanna Glenn, Associate Director of Mobile at MediaCom

When iOS9 hit our devices and a new wave of ad blockers hit the app stores there was a sudden panic. This is the beginning of the end of advertising, all ads will be blocked and we will all be out of a job!!

Six weeks after this release and there is only one ad blocker in the top 10 of the productivity charts. So should we as advertisers and publishers be worried?

Why don’t we look at the facts? Predominantly ad blockers are used by young males, only a small proportion of these are using them on their mobile device. Over half of the users using ad blockers don’t realise why ads are there i.e. paying for the content they are reading. The main reason why these individuals implemented ad-blockers is to block all ads as they interrupt what they are doing.

Taking the above into consideration we need to contemplate the environment in which ad blockers work. At the moment they only work in the mobile web space which is quite a big limitation considering most time spent is in app. A further restriction is that not all ads are blocked, native and inline ads are often missed. So looking at it as a whole this doesn’t look as scary.

But we shouldn’t sit on our laurels, this is how all new tech starts, young males are always early adopters. The simple answer is to create better ads, but this in itself is a blinkered view, we need to think about our consumers and what they want first.

They don’t want better ads, they don’t want ads all together as they are too intrusive. So we should to say no to pop ups and interstitials. But data conscious customers want a faster quicker experience they don’t want ads to eat away at their precious data.

Expectations on mobile are so much higher, with short attention spans we want short snappy and fast access to information, content and path to purchase.

Will ad-blocking may way for better creative, probably not as we all know that those small crappy banners at the bottom of the page drive sales. What it may do is change what creatives are served, how they are served and the way in which pages are built so that they load quicker. Publishers will have to find other ways in which to generate revenue. Brands, media agencies and creative agencies will need to work together to ensure that we deliver a customer first approach.

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