I’ve blocked 201,504 advertisements on Google Chrome in the past 11 months by simply activating an ad blocker. Hundreds of millions of other people have also begun using these ad blockers, and therefore advertising is being forced to change drastically.
According to a study conducted by Juniper Research, ad blocking software could cost marketers more than 27 billion dollars before 2020. Additionally, the amount of people who are using ad blockers is continuing to rise significantly. Most of this software is currently on computers and on some phones now; however, in the near future, this could also expand to majority of large phone brands, and block billions of advertisements annually.
Ad blockers are leading to many large and rapid changes in the marketing world, so I decided to analyze a few of them:
Increase in Product Placement
Because of traditional ads not working on many videos online, content creators are resorting to other marketing techniques such as product placement. Many YouTubers have seen a large decline in revenue per view because of ad blockers, so many of them compensate by increasing the amount of product placement in the videos. Some content creators directly recommended certain brands and blatantly promote them, but some people do it more discreetly by wearing a shirt, eating a snack, using an app, driving a car, drinking a drink or in many other ways.
Many celebrities post photos on Instagram and Twitter wearing certain products, and use that as a major revenue source. However, this extends far beyond YouTube and Instagram and into movies and TV shows as well. Some of the movies and shows that have used product placement in 2016 include, Batman vs. Superman (Jolly Rancher), The Bachelor (McDonalds), House of Cards (agar.io), Captain America (Audi), and many others.
More Affiliate Marketing
Similarly to the large increase in product placement for YouTubers, affiliate marketing has also seen a massive increase on YouTube and in general as a marketing technique. Now most YouTubers have affiliate links in the descriptions of their videos. Additionally, many blogs, articles and websites link to other websites and gain commission on any purchases there. According to prweb, almost 40% of Amazon’s revenue last year came through affiliate marketing. As marketing through the stereotypical ads continues to become more difficult, affiliate marketing will continue to increase as a marketing technique in order to generate revenues for individuals as well as larger corporations.
Companies Are Becoming The Story Tellers
Companies are now shifting to becoming the storytellers in order to capture an audience’s attention. A shareable story greatly increases the chances of a message going viral. Most people can tell a good story. However, a great company or marketer should be able to convey their values and their message through a story through is applicable or interesting to a large audience. As advertising becomes more difficult, companies will have to shift to telling the stories and creating the content themselves as a marketing and advertising strategy.
Some companies like Business Insider and other news sources are blocking their content to viewers who have adblocker activated for their website. Their model is simple, if you want to view their content, you either have to disable your adblocker or pay a subscription fee to view it ad free. In the future, more websites might switch to a model similar to this one, even though it might repel visitors at first.
Overall, the changes in the marketing and advertising industry due to ad blockers are forcing companies to find many creative solutions. Companies are spending more money finding the best ways to get around ad-blocking algorithms, and will most likely continue to spend even more in the future. As the number of advertisements blocked continues to greatly expand, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts.