Earlier last week, a Financial Times report claimed that several mobile network operators in Europe were planning to block online display ads as a way to attack Google’s domination of digital ad revenue. Whether this will actually be implemented is still up in the air, but the tide of ad blocking continues to rise this week as popular ad-blocker maker Adblock Plus launched its Firefox-based web browser for Android with built-in ad blocking. The first of its kind, this new Adblock Brower promises shorter load times, reduced cellular data usage and better battery life. No longer is ad blocking an add-on feature—it is quickly becoming the default and extending from desktops to mobile. Therefore, brands advertising online needs to adapt accordingly.
One good way to cope with such changes is to explore the newer formats of digital ads, such as video or native ads. For instance, yesterday Pinterest unveiled a series of new ad products and services that include an in-house creative arm called Pin Factory, improved audience targeting tools, and a new animated ad format dubbed “Cinematic Pins”, an interesting way to incorporate video ads into the usual static pin boards. As noted in the aforementioned Financial Times report, social “in-feed” ads on the likes of Twitter or Facebook will not be affected, presumably because they are native to the platform. For brands and marketers alike, the right way to combat ad-blocking tools expanding beyond add-ons is to stop making digital ads that look like add-ons.