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Why it's time for a smarter, kinder, more effective era of advertising


Ad Tech Consumer Behaviour Effectiveness
Ad Tech Consumer Behaviour Effectiveness User Experience

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Wunderkind’s survey reveals that publishers and brands are missing out by failing to provide ‘kind’ ads that put the consumer first

If your brand deploys ads, there’s a strong chance they could be actively annoying potential customers. This, obviously, isn’t ideal. Ads can be powerful and effective, but only if they’re served in the right way, at the right time, and to the right people.  

Let’s dig deeper. 

In partnership with research firm Attest, Wunderkind conducted a survey of 1,000 digitally-active shoppers, to better understand consumers’ attitudes, preferences, and behaviours when it comes to content engagement, publisher site experience, digital advertising, and ecommerce purchase drivers.  

For advertisers and publishers, the findings are certainly noteworthy. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents said they don’t feel publishers respect their digital experience, while 70% have the same opinion when it comes to the advertisers themselves. Additionally, there was almost unanimous agreement that ads interrupt the content consumption experience, with 95% of respondents airing their indignation.  

Simply put, consumers aren’t especially happy with how advertisers and publishers are engaging them digitally, and this sentiment seems to be intensifying. Traditionally, advertisers have focused on reach and visibility, while publishers have spent their time eyeing monetisation. While both mindsets are necessary — brands need to get their message in front of people, and publishers require that vital revenue stream — they have, over time, been prioritised to the point where they overshadow a key ingredient for ad success: customer experience. 

Publishers and advertisers need to put themselves in the mind of the consumer. Ads have become an irritant, and as a result, they’re inadvertently pushing shoppers away. Globally, almost half (47%) of all internet users use ad blockers, with over three-fifths (63%) admitting they do so because they find ads to be either intrusive, annoying or disruptive. What’s more, more than half (52%) of consumers who don’t currently utilise an ad blocker say they’re considering installing one. 

The ads space is ready for a refresh. With a staggering 76% of consumers saying they have a negative perception of advertisers whose ads are disruptive, and 91% claiming they won’t purchase from an advertiser they deem intrusive or irksome, brands and publishers alike need to take note. Fortunately, the solution is simple: provide web browsers with ad experiences they actually want.  

So… what do consumers value? 

Firstly, they want the ads they’re presented with to be complementary, not disruptive. They don’t want their content consumption to be interrupted. 68% of consumers say they are most likely to engage with an ad when they are completely disengaged from the content, with three-fifths (60%) admitting they would prefer to see ads only once they’ve finished engaging with a piece of content. Nobody goes to a publisher’s website specifically to see an ad, but if you give them a seamless content engagement experience, they’ll be far more likely to give an ad their full attention if it catches their eye.  

Ads, it turns out, aren’t the problem – it’s how they’re pushed. When ads are served at the right time and in a manner that’s not abrasive or bothersome, they don’t leave users feeling vexed. Ads need to be reinvented: and the industry is perhaps due for a revolution. If publishers and advertisers can collaborate to come up with creative, effective ad experiences that captivate rather than annoy – while keeping the consumer front of mind – we’ll be in for a smarter, more effective, altogether kinder era of advertising that, ultimately, will leave all parties happier. 

By Amy Pearce , Head of Advertising


Wunderkind is a leading performance marketing engine that drives $5 billion dollars annually in directly attributable revenue for top brands like Uniqlo, Sonos, and HelloFresh. Brands use Wunderkind to deliver high-performing, one-to-one messages across ads, websites, emails and text at a scale that’s otherwise impossible. An adtech product born from martech, we provide the industry’s only high impact post-content ads, resetting the standard in programmatic media. Wunderkind Ads recognise the moment a user has finished reading or is disengaged, providing non-standard high impact ads that result in unrivaled qualified engagement, click-through rates and viewability.

Posted on: Friday 10 March 2023