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'Polite' video can beat ad blockers

News, 29 April 2016

SINGAPORE/SYDNEY: A full 90% of APAC consumers would consider using ad blocking software because they think there are too many of them, while two-thirds (67%) find ads that track across the internet to be "creepy", a new survey has revealed.

Singapore-based Unruly, a video ad tech company, partnered with global media agency Mindshare to question 3,200 global consumers about what they want from online video advertising.

The findings, which underscore other surveys that have shown the extent of consumer scepticism about online ads, prompted Unruly and Mindshare to issue their APAC Future Video Manifesto, an advisory factsheet for regional advertisers about how best to deal with the rise of ad blocking.

"We launched the APAC Future Video Manifesto to help brands in the region rebuild trust, re-connect with consumers and re-set the ad economy so we can collectively survive the existential threats that face the ad industry in the 21st Century and realise the full potential of video as a medium," said Phil Townend, managing director of Unruly APAC.

"Consumers are fed up with ad clutter – too many anti-social, interruptive ads. The solution is polite advertising: polite-page loading, respectful ad formats that give a better user experience, and better ads in the first place – content that's worth watching," he added.

Of particular note to advertisers in the region, the survey found that 86% of Southeast Asian consumers say they would lose trust in a brand if they felt an ad feels fake – the highest proportion of any region.

Authenticity is also important for online Australians, with 77% saying they would think less of a company if their ad felt fake.

Meanwhile, almost two-thirds (65%) of Australian consumers are put off a brand when they are forced to watch a pre-roll, although this falls to less than half (45%) of consumers in Southeast Asia.

Elsewhere, more than three-quarters (77%) of internet users across APAC say they mute video ads, while more than two-thirds (68%) of Australian viewers say they like to be able to control video ads, which is higher than the global average of 61%.

The report went on to outline seven key pieces of advice to help marketers create and deliver user-friendly digital content.

Clarity of purpose is essential, the report said, as is authenticity and making an emotional connection with audiences.

Videos ads should be personal, relevant and shareable, but above all they should use "polite, non-interruptive ad formats". Finally, advertisers should test to identify their most interested audiences.

Sanchit Sanga, chief digital officer at Mindshare APAC, reinforced the point when he said: "Relevant, targeted, native and contextual video which doesn't disrupt viewing patterns will be the mainstay for successful video delivery."

Data sourced from Unruly, Mindshare; additional content by Warc staff