Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO of IAB, opened the discussion on obliterating adblocking through creativity, by stating that consumers are not targets, they are human beings. They have likes and dislikes, with control over advertising more than ever before. What are they doing with that control? Downloading adblockers to eliminate it from their view and get on with their daily lives.
DUNN DUNNN DUNNNNNNN *the heavens fall in, the ground swallows us up and I need to find a new job*
In come Mark Thompson and Jess Greenwood to explain this a little bit further. Mark says that we can only blame ourselves, with digital ads being slow to load, intrusive and targeting incorrect users (His technical term being “a shit user experience”). Jess Greenwood’s great metaphor put adblocking into context: if a friend is intrusive, repetitive, careless of our privacy and just plain annoying, then we’d block them from our lives.
They talked through some clear pointers for change:
- For our campaigns, we need to think like programmers, creating an experience that consumers wants to engage in.
- For our industry, we need to produce fewer, faster and punchier units.
- For our consumers, we need to educate them that advertising is the main way of funding the journalism and content that they enjoy.
What do I think? Adblocking is the global warming of advertising. We got over excited, went a little bit crazy on the high of our own invention. We were oblivious to the destruction we were causing to ourselves until our version of the ozone layer became apparent. Similarly, this is not an issue to ignore. As Rothenberg says, it’s “everyone’s responsibility to get it right”. Let’s start by working together with our creative agencies, and start educating the industry to make clean decisions with “creativity first and everything else second”.