Age of Ad Blocking

Getting Across Your Message in the Age of Ad Blocking : Clever Hacks for Mobile Marketers



Who isn’t fed up of having to sit through a 15-second auto-playing monstrosity before they could watch the latest movie trailer? Who hasn’t struggled to find the cross button on that supremely annoying ad as it pops-up in between a gaming session? We all are fed up of ads – they’re everywhere! There might be a few ads on the screen on which you’re reading this article.

The digitally native millennials are blatantly ad averse. According to eMarketer, 2 in every 3 millennials use ad blockers on their mobile devices. If these pesky millennials make up the major fraction of your target audience, you can be sure that your banner ads aren’t reaching even half of ‘em. But it’s not just the millennials, people across all age cohorts are tuning out most of the ads they come across. They all were looking for an easy fix when ad blocking software arrived and voila, it was readily accepted in the masses. Unfortunately, this ‘easy fix’ has left many advertisers grappling with the question: how do they reach their audience now?

Marketers who do not understand the implications of ad blocking yet, are trying to circumvent around the problem, paying their way past the ad blockers. That won’t cut it though. Ad blockers are not the real culprits. What marketers should really be bothered about are the interruptive experiences that led the users to download ad blockers.

The Solution Lies in the Problem

Choosing the Right Ad Format

According to a recent study conducted by, here are the top 6 reasons that drive the mobile audience to use ad-blockers –

1. Too many ads are annoying or irrelevant 49%
2. Too many ads on the internet 40%
3. Online ads are intrusive 40%
4. Ads take up too much screen space 37%
5. Ads take a toll on loading time 33%

With a glaring focus on making the mobile browsing experience neater, Google recently announced to block the following ad formats on mobile: Pop-up ads, prestitial ads and postitial ads, flashing animated ads, auto-playing video ads, full-screen scrollover ads, large sticky ads and so forth.

Choosing the right ad formats to get your message across is now more crucial than ever. Do away with pop-up ads and full-screen monstrosities completely. Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently listed a range of recommended sizes, aspect ratios and formats, to enable user-friendly ads that are non-intrusive and adapt to multiple screens. You might want to take a look at that.

The good news is that ad blockers do not always recognize whether a piece of content is an ad to block. By providing content that is hyper relevant to users’ interests and highly personalized, you can bypass the ad blockers. Brands need to start identifying users’ pain points and create content that educates, entertains, or engages them, filling the gap.

Also, when advertising for mobile, even more important than what you say and how you say it is when you say it. Timing is everything. IPG discovered that people were 40 percent more receptive to an advert after winning a game. Getting the timing right increases purchase intent and offers better chances of conversion.

Mobile Ad Blocking: It’s Not All that Bad

Ad blocking is nothing new. It’s been around for decades but it never made a foray into mobile, the way it has in the last few years.

  • Ad-blocking could cost publishers $27 billion in lost ad revenue by 2020 globally. (Source: Juniper Research)
  • 24.6% of US and UK smartphone owners now use mobile ad blockers. (Source:
  • 429 million people globally are using an ad blocker on their mobile phone.  (Source: PageFair)

The rather enthusiastic acceptance of ad-blocking software has disrupted the way mobile marketers used to reach to their consumers. But it’s not all too bad considering that users spend only 11% of their mobile time on the mobile web. The rest 89% of the time is spent on mobile apps (Source: eMarketer), which isn’t that badly disrupted by ad blocking.

Apparently, heading to in-app advertising seems to be the obvious solution to the problem. Plus, you might consider including the following in your marketing mix – Influencer marketing, native advertising, and direct to consumer communication such as push notifications and in-app messages.

Learn more about these clever hacks in the next part of this post. Stay tuned!


Don't miss a single post! Subscribe to our RSS feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *