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Everyone Has an Ad Blocker

Or do they? While this trend may be growing, it's far from mass adoption. Learn who is using them and how to break through. Posted on Friday, April 1 in Making Your Marketing Work.

It’s crossed every Internet users’ mind at one point or another, “I wish I could just get rid of these darn ads.”

As marketers, the idea that our audiences may be so frustrated that they would seek to block advertisements all together is, well, petrifying. The technology exists for them to do so, but how dire of a situation is it for marketers? Like most things web-related, it’s an ever-evolving matter. Let’s explore the hype and reality of ad blockers.

What Is an Ad Blocker?

Before we can fully plan for the impact that ad blockers might have on our campaigns, it’s important to understand what an ad blocker really is. Ad blockers detect where an ad is placed (on both browsers and in apps) and either prevent ads from loading or place a blocker over them. In order for a user to activate ad blocking technology on their device or browser, they must either download an app or activate a plug-in on their browser. It’s not a native functionality on any device or browser and requires a specific action by the user.

Who Is Using Ad Blockers?

Depending on who you talk to, the idea of ad blockers is either commonplace or unknown. Approximately 10 – 15% of all US Internet users are actively blocking ads, and that number appears to be growing all the time. [1] Perhaps more important than the number of people using ad blockers is understanding who is using them.

Because the ad blocking software requires enough tech-savviness to download and install the app or plug-in, it’s no surprise that adoption varies by generation and age rage. In a poll of those who have adopted blockers, the majority of users were in 25 – 54 range, 11.7% were in the 18 – 24 range and only 10.8% of the respondents were in the 55 – 64 range. [2]

Want to know more about generational marketing? We can help!

What’s a Marketer to Do? 

While there’s no clear-cut playbook for handling the adoption of ad blockers, there are a few things you can keep in mind:

  • Know your audience: Of course you’re already doing this, but ad blocking tendencies should become another audience consideration. If your audience falls into an age rage with high adoption, it might be worthwhile to consider adding another tactic or channel to your plan to ensure you can reach them.
  • Get creative: The whole ad blocking idea started when Internet users became fed up with the types of ads they were seeing. If you’re concerned about this factor, consider a less disruptive ad unit and test creative that provides more of a value-exchange for the audience.
  • Keep an eye on it: This isn’t going to go away. As of right now it might be an overreaction to begin tailoring your campaigns to the ad-blocking subset of your audience. You don’t want to miss out on reaching the majority of your target audience or utilizing a digital tactics drive ROI. But, this is something we are keeping an eye on and recommend our advertising partners do so as well.

Want to stand out while blending in? Learn more about Native Advertising.

Stay connected.

With the landscape changing frequently, you need a trusted partner to help you navigate. You can stay on top of this trend and all things digital media by contacting us online or calling 607.798.1131. One of our multi-media sales executives will be in touch to help you attract more customers.


[1] Hudson, Mike “Digital Ad Blocking: Will Escalating Usage Imperil Marketing, Monetization Efforts?” eMarketer, 13 Aug 2015

[2] Teads, “Why People Block Ads” Conducted by Research Now, 27 Jan 2016

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