Ad-Blocking Consumers Influence Purchase Decisions, Magna Study Finds

People using ad-blocking technology to filter ads are more likely to influence purchase decisions across technology — 81% for ad-filtering users versus 74% for non-filtering users, grocery — 78% vs. 75%, financial services — 74% vs. 64%, and auto — 69% vs 64%, respectively, according to a Magna study released Monday.

While advertisers might think about steering clear of users who block ads, Kara Manatt, executive vice president, managing director, intelligence solutions at Magna, believes the data shows that advertisers should pay attention to this growing audience of young consumers who opt in to filter ads from their online experience.

Some 53% of Millennials report using an ad-filtering software compared with 19% of Gen Z, and 6% of Boomers, based on survey participants.

This group doesn’t flat out reject ads, but wants to avoid intrusive formats and ad clutter on the web pages they visit. It’s something Google executives have stated to advertisers for years.

Google has always been against more ads or paid promotional material than publisher content on a webpage. The results of this study demonstrate why.

The reduced number of ads on webpages creates a premium environment for any advertiser, with better awareness, favorability, impact and sustainability metrics, the study concludes.

It’s based on what the study finds to be the rise of two opposing behaviors — consumers filtering out intrusive ads, and advertising striving to capture their attention. These two behaviors are creating a “better environment” for advertisers and media agencies.

Data from the study Reaching & Influencing Ad-Filtering Users identified notable improvements in recall and positive brand associations, according to the research by Magna’s Media Trials unit, and eyeo, an ad-filtering technology company. The group tested controlled display ads on high and low-clutter pages on desktop and laptop — pages from T-Mobile, Sony, and Twitch.

The study estimates 250 million ad-blocking software users consent to see non-intrusive online ads that adhere to the Acceptable Ads Standard, defined and approved by the independent Acceptable Ads Committee.

The study also defines the role that clutter plays in the effectiveness of advertising. Ads on a low-clutter page received about 82% lift in aided ad recall and about 62% lift in unaided ad recall when looking at the percent difference between low clutter and high clutter pages.

Ads on low-cluttered pages are more cost efficient and lead to higher return on ad spend--$4 on low-clutter pages and $27 on high-clutter pages.

Top-funnel metrics were also improved depending on the number of ads on the page. Study participants scored more than 9% in brand trust for an advertiser on a low-clutter page compared to zero change when encountering the same ad in a busier ad environment.

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