Video Essentials

The 12 Types of Online Ads Advertisers Should Never Use…

Anyone who’s spent any time browsing on a desktop, you know the problem: You load a page and instantly a video ad starts playing. The audio is loud, and it doesn’t care that you’re in a quiet cubicle trying not to annoy your neighbors. You race to close the tab, feeling annoyed at the five-second intrusion. Was that a good ad experience? Some brand paid good money to give it to you.

In advertisers’ and marketers’ zeal to capture the attention of flighty online consumers, they’ve created a lot of ads that simply cannot be ignored. That’s led to a lot of poor ad experiences and the growth of ad-blockers. To help advertisers understand what ad styles annoy people the most, the Coalition for Better Ads conducted some valuable research.

The Coalition was created by several international trade associations and companies in online media to shape better digital ad experiences. In time, it will create and implement global standards. Recently, it surveyed over 25,000 North American and European consumers, asking them to rate 104 desktop and mobile ad experiences. From that it created its dirty dozen: the 12 online ad types people hate the most.

Desktop Annoyances:

  • Pop-Up Ads
  • Auto-Playing Video Ads With Sound
  • Prestitial Ads With Countdown
  • Large Sticky Ads

Mobile Annoyances

  • Pop-Up Ads
  • Prestitial Ads
  • Ad Density Higher Than 30 Percent
  • Flashing Animated Ads
  • Auto-Playing Video Ads With Sound
  • Poststitial Ads With Countdown
  • Full-Screen Scrollover Ads
  • Large Sticky Ads

“We are energized by how quickly this cross-industry Coalition was able to research and identify annoying advertising formats,” says Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next. “There is still much work to be done but we are out of the gate in our work to make the web less annoying for the average consumer.”

This list should be a wakeup call, warns Randall Rothenberg, president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). If advertisers don’t change their ways, he says, ad-blocker use will increase and ad revenues will decline.

Download a PDF of the 12 most annoying ad types for a description of each (no registration required).


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