Beat the blockers and get creative


Since the beginning of (digital marketing) time, the question “Why isn’t my online ad campaign working?” has triggered the same response. “Your creative isn’t strong enough,” says swaggering Media. To which our swaggering Creative responds (in their best Samuel L. Jackson voice): “Allow me to retort, the targeting was wrong.”

However, the power in this old chicken-and-egg argument has started to lean in favour of Media. Thanks to evolving capabilities in targeting and scale, programmatic display advertising is growing healthily. eMarketer forecasts that spend will surpass £2 billion in 2016.

Enter ad blocking – technology that allows you to prevent ads from being served on the websites you visit. According to Internet Advertising Bureau, over 22% (and rising) of British adults are using ad blockers, a fact that keeps advertisers and marketers up at night.

We are now in an age where people consume content completely on their own terms, choosing everything from the medium (web, print, TV) to the format (text, image, video). Throw in the filtering capabilities of ad blocking and advertisers are left with quite the marketing headache. Ensuring the right people are seeing your ad, when they have already opted out of seeing any ads, is a conundrum.

So what does this mean for creatives? The challenge remains the same: Create good content, good enough that people want to share it organically. Granted there are more channels, devices, and platforms in the mix, but the principal objective – engaging creativity – hasn’t changed.

Now, does the rise in ad blocking spell the end for programmatic? Absolutely not, but in a world where 74% of people say that advertising does not match their personal interests (2016 Accenture Consumer Survey), presenting a narrative that resonates is more important than ever. The mission: create content that can travel across a multitude of channels and remain intact wherever and however it is consumed. Our swaggering creative is back in the game.