Have you ever wondered how many ads we see daily? Dozens? Hundreds? Or maybe thousands? In fact, our daily ad exposure depends on many factors—from where we live to what job we do and how we prefer to spend our leisure time.
If folks from the marketing firm Yankelovich, Inc. are right, the average modern person is exposed to around 5,000 ads per day. Wait…that’s the number from 2007. Given the huge spike in ad exposure we’ve seen in recent years, chances are high this number has already doubled.
If you want something accurate and fresh, you will love what StopAd has to bring to the table:
70% of StopAd users block an average of 200 ads a day on Windows devices alone (desktop).
This means that the majority of our Windows users are exposed to at least 200 online ads every day on just their desktop. Now add to that online ads they see on mobile, ads they are exposed to offline, as well as indirect advertising messages they receive from influencers, product placement, and promotion events.
It looks like seeing 5,000 ads per day could be absolutely realistic.
If you are too curious to leave this question alone, you can always follow the approach of Ron Marshall. This popular marketing expert ran a crazy experiment to find out how many ads he was exposed to during his typical day. He decided to spot as many ads as possible and count them throughout the day. Long story short, he counted 487 ad messages before even ending his breakfast. Shocked and amazed, he decided not to continue.
Whatever the exact number of ads we see everyday, one thing remains clear: the amount is enormous. So it should not surprise us that at the end of the day we cannot recall even a tiny percent of them all.
Why does it happen? Why can’t we remember the majority of ads we see?
This happens for two reasons. First, the human brain cannot absorb and digest that much information. It just can’t. Second, super saturation of ads has resulted in a phenomenon called banner blindness. Essentially, most of us have learned to ignore any banner-like information we see on the internet.
So here’s what we’ve got:
- Ads seem to cover any blank space both online and offline.
- For the sake of sanity, human brains learn to ignore ads.
- Advertising clutter makes it difficult for brands to stand out and for users to enjoy their online/offline experience.
It sounds like a perfect moment for ad blocking to come into play. It also looks like the right time for brands to recognize the need for less intrusive marketing strategies.
The Problem Of Too Many Ads: The Brand Perspective
Advertising has become cheap in cost and quality. Now it takes only a few hours (or less) to run a massive advertising campaign that will reach millions of perfectly-targeted users from all around the globe. It’s no wonder brands big or small make use of the opportunity.
But there’s a catch.
The more ads are released, the less effective they get. When spoken simultaneously, even the most well crafted messages become little more than noise.
Apparently, oversaturation of ads is a problem for brands and advertisers, too.
High competition and an ever-decreasing consumer attention span makes brands do whatever they can to compel us to buy. Desperate to be heard, some brands switch to “bigger, louder, more” mode. The outcomes are drastic. The world becomes cluttered with ads. Should we call it a global ad pollution problem already?
There is always a way out. Instead of trying to cover every blank spot with a logo, brand name, or marketing message, brands should consider a different approach. But what approach?
- Value-added marketing in which customers are always put first.
- High-quality advertising that is educational or entertaining (why not do both?)
- An interactive experience that is polite, ethical, and does not feel like an ad.
In a world where competition is so high and the fight for attention is so tense, there is no more room for poor-quality, intrusive advertising.
Making Our Way Through Advertising Clutter: User Perspective
We can’t escape advertising. Or can we?
Even armed with the most efficient ad blocker out there, you’ll need to live with your ears and eyes closed to not let a single ad message leak into your world. Just like true love, a marketing will always find a way. So the answer is: “No, we can’t escape ads completely. Yes, we can significantly limit their number.”
In most cases, advertising is just another form of information clutter. Its only goal is to hook new customers and trick them into buying something they might not even need.
Since the majority of ads are aggressive and manipulative in nature, there is no wonder people want them blocked. This is especially true in regards to pop-ups, banners, and pre-roll video ads—ad formats people find the most annoying.
Hyper-saturation of advertising is not just annoying, it is a major source of distraction, too. There are too many ads on the internet to stay focused.
We’ve run a series of Click Everything experiments, where participants had to click on every ad they were exposed to. It turned out that the average Facebook user is shown at least 1 ad every 2 minutes. As for YouTube, a new ad shows up every 4 minutes.
With such a high frequency of interruption, should we be surprised the world is going through a global distraction crisis?
There Are Too Many Ads: What We Can Do?
The current state of advertising leaves us with no choice but to take action. The best we can do now is to block all online ads at request. We are not going to stop there, though.
Our job is to not only block ads but to provide customers with a better online experience. And we do recognize that not all ads are bad, so we are searching for better ways to do what we do.
Stay tuned to witness something revolutionary.