Marketer Interest In 'Ad Blocking' Surges, 'Ad Viewability' Too

In May, when we began analyzing brand and advertiser intent data, and observed significant surges in interest around terms related to "brand safety" and a decrease in intent around "account-based marketing." The data reflected many of the concerns our clients were expressing at the time — about two months into the pandemic. 

This week, we look at these same terms and how marketer and agency interest has moved – or not moved – since then. 

Ad Viewability

Brands’ interest around this term coincided with a few big news stories, with spikes on Jun 21 (Trump’s Tulsa rally), and July 26th (Feds’ standoff with Portland protesters; John Lewis’s funeral). While correlation doesn’t indicate causation, ad viewability intent seems to correspond with headlines that see high levels of public engagement. Ad viewability also showed similar intent trends to “programmatic.” I’m inferring that this is because programmatic inventory doesn’t inspire the same confidence in quality as direct buys.



Ad Blocking

In May, Bombora’s interest intent data showed that “ad blocking” was surging among both brands and agencies, presumably having to do with advertisers attempting to blacklist terms related to the coronavirus (versus consumers’ use of ad blockers). Looking at the term through this lens, it makes sense that ad blocking intent dropped significantly for both groups in June. Once advertisers came to the realization that the pandemic and racial injustice would be interwoven with our lives for the foreseeable future, resisting association with related terms would only serve to keep eyeballs from ads. 

Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

In May, I remarked on how intent for ABM had taken a dive around the time work-from-home orders became commonplace. I attributed this trend to the lack of business IP targeting available, a common tactic in ABM practices. Brands’ confidence in ABM appears to have returned (indicated below). The pandemic appears to have necessitated agility and innovation, and the uptick in ABM intent is a great example of how confidence in tried and true strategies can be restored.

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