New Advertising Formats to Adapt to Ad Blocking Phenomenon
Ever since its beginnings, online advertising is at the core of many heated debates. On the one hand, it’s the reason why the content of most websites is free. On the other hand, a number of online advertisements are intruding and annoying, and sometimes even hinder the quality of the user experience.
However, with new media come new realities. Advertisers were taken aback when hordes of annoyed programmers developed plugins that eliminate all advertising content from any website visited by users. Acting as filters, these plugins answered the prayers of many users who had to deal with these abusive ads. According to comScore and Sourcepoint, the adoption of ad-blocking software increased from 16 % to 20 % in the last year.
The issue for advertisers is that even non-abusive advertisements are filtered by these plugins. They quickly realized that a large part of their impression was never seen by anyone, despite having been paid for. The result? Waste and loss of revenues.
In 2011, in order to solve the problem, a number of advertising organizations, namely the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Association of Advertising Agencies, started taking steps to standardize the way in which advertising is presented online. It’s thanks to them that such mentions as “Sponsored” can be seen next to online adverts everywhere on the Internet.
The rationale is: if users are aware that they’re seeing an ad, the advertiser will have to work hard to keep their attention, namely by ensuring the good quality of its content. Will this strategy truly convince users to get rid of their ad-blocking software? Since we’re only at the dawn of this approach, time will tell.
On top of this, in order to adapt to the ad blocking trend, advertisers are developing new approaches, such as native advertising. This consists of publishing advertising articles that users apparently cannot distinguish from regular, non-sponsored articles. Could a standardized differentiation be appropriate in this context too? In any case, we can at least be happy about the fact that advertisers are committed as ever to present quality content. Incidentally, StackAdapt deems that in the next three years, we can expect native advertising buying in Canada to increase to 20 % of the total sum spent in online advertising.
comScore and Sourcepoint; the State of Ad Blocking
StackAdapt; Native Advertising in Canada to hit $200M in 2015
Contently; Study: Article or Ad? When It Comes to Native, No One Knows