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Ad Blockers – Every Brand’s Nemesis

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These days, it’s very easy for consumers to decide whether or not they want to view ads on their TVs or smartphones. People are increasingly choosing to record their favourite shows to watch them in their own time, which means they can skip the ads as and when they choose. And with smartphones, ad blockers mean it can be very difficult for brands to get their marketing messages in front of the right eyeballs.

A new report from US-based mobile marketing company Tune has found that 24.6 per cent of smartphone owners across the US and Europe have downloaded an ad-blocking app or browser, with Tune now predicting that the trend could increase to 80 per cent of smartphone owners by the third quarter of next year.

As Peter Hamilton, Tune CEO, said to Tech Crunch: “People want to block ads because most mobile ads today are annoying and disruptive. Much of the responsibility lies with the publisher who can choose the best ways to monetise with their advertising partners. Consumers will allow ads if the experience is actually entertaining or helpful.”

Meanwhile, figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau show that over nine million Brits block ads online, with 22 per cent of web users over the age of 18 using software to strip out the ads from digital content. Last year, it was found that 15 per cent of web users in the UK were choosing to block ads, which emphasises just how much of a threat this software presents to the digital display market in the UK.

So what can brand marketers do to get their marketing messages in front of people who are increasingly able to pick and choose what media they are subjected to? The answer is experiential marketing, a strategy that can be used both online and offline to great effect, bringing both channels together seamlessly to generate interest in a brand.

Heineken, for example, ran a Departure Roulette campaign back in 2013 where travellers where given the golden opportunity to hop on a random plane and be whisked off somewhere in the world. Videos of people spinning the roulette wheel to find out where they were going were uploaded to YouTube, where they generated millions of online views – a prime example of how online and offline strategies can work well together to increase engagement and interest in a company from a target audience.

So what can you do to come up with your own incredible experiential marketing campaigns? Make sure you’re imaginative and creative, looking to do something that hasn’t been done before, make sure you use all the technology at your disposal to help your work go viral online and make sure your campaign is interactive, clear and quick to get to the point. Remember – you only have a few precious seconds to capture someone’s attention so don’t make your marketing messages muddy if you can help it.