Ad-filtering users are more likely to influence purchase decisions, study
If two assumptions can be made about advertising, consumers are attempting to filter out intrusive ads, while advertisers are striving to capture their attention.
These opposing behaviors actually create a better environment for advertisers and media agencies, with notable improvements in recall and positive brand associations, according to new research by MAGNA’s Media Trials unit and the ad-filtering technology company, eyeo, titled, Reaching & Influencing Ad-Filtering Users.
The reality is that advertisers cannot ignore ad-filtering users. The overwhelming majority of ad-blocking software users – 250 million strong (who are actually ad-filtering users) – consent to see non intrusive online ads that adhere to the Acceptable Ads Standard, defined and approved by the independent Acceptable Ads Committee; they are a vast and highly desirable audience who do not block all ads. The MAGNA study determined that ad-filtering users are more likely to influence purchase decisions, across tech (81% ad-filtering users vs 74% non-filtering users); grocery (78% vs. 75%); financial services (74% vs. 64%) and auto (69% vs 64%). Further, according to AdBlock, desktop downloads have ballooned from 44 million users in 2012 users to 290 million in 2022, while mobile vaulted from 167 million users to 530 million users between 2015 and 2022.
Kara Manatt, EVP, Managing Director, Intelligence Solutions, MAGNA: “There is a growing audience of young consumers who advertisers should be paying close attention to – consumers who are opting for an ad filtered-online experience. Interestingly, they don’t flat out reject ads but rather want to avoid intrusive formats and ad clutter on the web pages they visit. GenZ and Millennial audiences are not only a critical customer base for many industry verticals, but the reduced number of ads on webpages creates a premium environment for any advertiser, with better awareness, favorability, impact and sustainability metrics.”
In addition to exploring who ad-filtering users are and how they influence purchase decisions, the study also defined what role clutter plays in advertising effectiveness.
Among critical audiences, ads are more memorable on low cluttered pages. Ads on a low-clutter page received +82% lift in aided ad recall and +62% lift in unaided ad recall when looking at the percent difference between low clutter and high clutter pages.
Top-funnel metrics were also improved depending on the amount of advertising on the page. Study participants scored +9% in brand trust for an advertiser on a low-clutter page compared to zero change when encountering the same ad in a busier ad environment.
MAGNA and eyeo also examined the carbon impact of an ad-filtered page to that of a cluttered page, using Scope3 data, which indicated the benefits of ad-filtering go well beyond the consumer’s and advertiser’s initial objectives. Average carbon emissions (gCO2e) per webpage ranged significantly between high-cluttered (10) vs. low-cluttered (0.8).
Joshua Lowcock, Global Chief Media Officer at UM, the global media agency that is part of IPG Mediabrands: “After a flurry of excitement when iOS 9 dropped in 2015, the media industry has collectively lost interest in ad blocking and ad filtering but consumers and publishers did not. This study shows that leaning into the ad-filtering audience provides an acceptable way to be respectful of users, recognize quality publishers, and drive better, more sustainable results without the need to be intrusive.”
The full study can be found here
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