Why Ad Blocking is a Good Thing

Why Ad Blocking is a Good Thing


Ad blocking is a good thing. Yes you heard me. And I’m not just saying this as a consumer, who finds pop ups annoying, flashing ad wraps irritating and poorly targeted adverts intrusive. I’m saying this as a marketing professional.  It’s good for potential audiences, good for future customers and good for the marketing industry as a whole.  And this is why.


When Apple introduced ad blocking software into its latest iOS update last month a community of advertising executives threw up their hands in horror. How dare technology make the consumer more empowered? Ok, I may be paraphrasing just a bit, but in essence it feels like the public are being blamed for revenues falling and advertisements becoming more aggressive. But it’s not their fault. It’s due to the advertising industry’s insistence of not changing with the times. The platforms may be new but in many cases the marketing model feels the same. Programmatically bought advertising is delivering cheap eyeballs but at the expense of all other considerations, chiefly environment, engagement and enjoyment! With the wealth of data available to advertisers now, advertising can and should be bought with these considerations in mind, not just cost. At Way To Blue we encourage clients to consider placing their paid advertising in environments where we know the viewer will be comfortable with it being there; in fact some of the premium ad formats on the major social platforms are so effective that it is remarkable how advertisers continue to pursue ‘cheap’ versus ‘quality’ in their online advertising strategies


Just over £16.2bn will be spent on all forms of advertising in the UK this year, including TV, newspapers, billboards, radio, online and on mobiles and tablets, according to eMarketer. Digital advertising is expected to grow by 12% this year to £8.1bn, making the UK the first country in which £1 in every £2 will go on digital media. Perhaps finally we are starting to wise up to the potential of digital, but we need to ensure that we don’t treat digital advertising the same way as those billboards. The consumer has evolved, and we need to ensure that we evolve with them.


Social marketing is just one of the ways that brands can interact intelligently and creatively with consumers, and this will only continue. Brands can respond in real time, to news events, or interact with other companies and their customers. The better you are at this interaction and creativity, the more followers you secure and the more those customers become your advocates, sharing your message with their friends. And we all know that you take a recommendation off a mate before an advert. It’s Digital word of mouth, plain and simple.


Rather than spending your marketing budget on an advert that will get blocked, spend it securing a social influencer, a YouTube vlogger, spend it on producing a kick ass viral, and spend it on some research finding out about your potential customer.  Or buy premium advertising formats that complement rather than distract the viewer from their online experience; at Way To Blue we advocate the partnering of carefully targeted paid advertising on social platforms where we know that the people we are talking to are engaged and interested in the content we are showing. That way your marketing message won’t be lazy, irritating and intrusive, it will be targeted, intelligent and creative. The customer, at the end of the day is the person who should be in control. They put the money in our wallets. They don’t look and say ‘Oh I like this example of viral marketing’ or ‘Look at this company’s social media strategy’. For customers, there is only good or bad, obvious or intelligent, targeted or irrelevant.


Spending on digital video advertising increased almost 60 percent in 2014 from the previous year. During the same period, the number of Internet users using ad blockers rose from 54 million to 121 million. Today, almost 150 million people have downloaded ad blocking software, according to a frequently cited report from PageFair and Adobe. So rather than splashing the cash on a Digital advert that is likely to go unseen, take a risk and spend it on something that will actually get results.