Interruptive Advertising Could Be Gone Before You Know It

July 7, 2017

11:30 am

Unless you’re watching the Super Bowl, no one likes ads. Whether it’s commercials, pop-ups, or those annoying ads that split Facebook videos in half, people around the world can find common ground on their mutual hatred of interruptive advertising. Fortunately, this irritating commonality in the digital advertising world could be coming to an end a lot sooner than you might think.

According to research from Forrester, people are not only fed up with interruptive advertising, they’re taking steps to put a stop to it. In fact, 38 percent of US adults have some kind of ad blocker in place, 47 percent actively avoid mobile in-app ads, and 50 percent actively avoid desktop ads. And if that many people are trying to avoid them, advertisers have to start realizing that this method just isn’t working anymore.

“You have to have confidence in what you’re buying, and right now advertisers don’t — for very good reasons,” said James McQuivey, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research in a Forbes post.

This trend is more than just a common problem we all have to live with. As users get more and more savvy to the avoidance of interruptive ads, marketers and advertisers hope to adapt in a way that will keep the dollars flowing without pissing off any potential customers. Whether it’s influencer marketing or branded content, they’re looking for any way to transition from this tried-and-true advertising medium that has worked for far too long. And thinking outside the box will be key to seeing a modicum of success.

“This year, for example, Progressive could add Flo’s synthesized voice to a whole range of skills, apps, and bots, as a way to reinforce the brand’s personality,” said McQuivey. “But it will only feel right if what she says in that voice is appropriate to your context, your need, and your emotional state.”

Unfortunately for those of us praying to be delivered from interruptive advertising, the process isn’t going to be immediate. Large companies are still seeing success, with Google making $79.4 billion last year by interrupting search results and Facebook making $26.9 billion in ad revenue by interrupting social interactions, which means nothing is going to change for at least a little while.

It is going to happen though. As McQuivey puts it, the collective hatred for advertising won’t be its timely undoing. Rather, casual indifference will be the difference maker, as customers will stop “doing interruptible things on interruption-friendly devices.” Google and Facebook don’t have to be on board to make this a global change. They just need to be complicit in new mediums stealing their customers with interruption-less content. Because when it comes to eradicating interruptive advertising, it will be adapt or die.

Read more about advertising trends on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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