Google has this month extended its in-browser ad blocking to global markets, in a move that will push publishers to conform to Better Ads Standards, or see their ads blocked by the Chrome browser.
Last year Google Chrome – which has a 64% global share of browser use – implemented ad ‘filtering’ for intrusive ads (i.e. those not within the standards established by the Coalition for Better Advertising) in North America and Europe, and has now launched the functionality on a global scale.
The announcement comes as eMarketer again downgraded forecasts for future growth of ad blocker use, for the second year in a row.
In the US, ad blocker use is expected to remain stable, at 27%, with the majority of those using a blocker saying it is because “there are too many ads online”, or that they are “annoying or irrelevant”. Globally, ad blocking is slowing, with rates falling to 10.3% last year from 11.6% in 2017.
As the use of ad blocking software decreases, marketers could look to benefit from potential increased presence. However, brands must learn from the mistakes of the past, and focus on providing a positive ad experience for all users.
The Coalition for Better Ads seeks to advise on this, having developed the Better Ads Standards through extensive consumer research. These standards lay down the least preferred ad types, including the most intrusive ad formats that give users a particularly poor experience.
As well as shifting towards best practice ad formats, advertisers should remain wary of frequency capping, so as not to bombard consumers with online ads.
Recent research by Sublime, the high impact marketplace specialist, found that spontaneous brand awareness increased most when users were exposed to an ad two to three times. When users were exposed more than four times, brand awareness dropped by 3%.
In addition, while campaign recall was at 26% after one exposure, this dropped significantly to 6% after 10+ exposures. Similarly, the study proves the impact of frequency on other brand metrics such as familiarity and favourability.
According to the IPA’s latest Bellwether report, digital is one of the only channels to see continued growth in investment. With steadily increasing spend, marketers must continue to ensure that whilst generating profit, online advertising still delivers value, and a positive experience for the consumer.