Confessions on an Online Advertiser: Do they hate ads, too?


If you asked most people “do you like ads?” You’d probably end up with a majority of answers in the “no” column. After all, they can be disruptive or even irrelevant. But what about those of us who make a living writing, designing and producing advertisements think of them?

Pretty much everyone at Oodle works on ads, so I decided to conduct an impromptu survey to see what my fellow Oodlers think of advertising. Here are the results.

What type of ads are the most memorable for you?
About 40 percent of my coworkers said that TV ads take the cake for this one. The remaining responses had an even split for social media and online display ads. (According to a Nielsen study on building brands, creating ads focused on “ad recall” is an effective way to boost brand awareness. It’s a particularly good strategy for both new brands and super well-known brands, like Coca-Cola.)

What type of ads do you think are the least trustworthy?
Interestingly, about 30 percent of the Oodlers I surveyed said that TV and social media ads were the least trustworthy. Only eight percent think that paid search ads (in which you provide your information in exchange for an answer to your “here and now” need) fall in the low trustworthiness category.

What type of ads make you concerned about privacy?
Around 30 percent of Oodlers said that targeted ads on social media are the most concerning. That makes sense — these channels do rely heavily on inputs from you (the end-user) to determine the type of ads you receive. So, you might be served ads about purses if you’ve recently Googled information about getting a new Louis Vuitton.

What does all of this information mean to me?
Advertising is about more than just finding the right audience or the right prospects. We need ads that are memorable, speak to us at a human level, and consider our concerns about privacy.

  1. Look at weird data. Is the performance of your ad way above or way below the benchmarks? There might be something additional you need to look at, such as the messaging you’re using or the platform where you’re serving your ads.
  2. Analyze the “bigger picture” data. Watch your KPIs. Are your ads achieving the results you want? Are sales or engagement levels hitting the mark?
  3. Reduce ads in invasive spaces. Some sites serve ads that are particularly irritating to the user — even for us Oodlers who make a living in advertising! So before sending your ads to a site that allows ads from a ton of different places, see if there are publishers who are more selective.
  4. Use your intuition. Think of times when the positioning, time, and place to receive an ad was right for you, versus when it was a burden. While your brand might receive a lot of clicks on an ad, if the ad was an irritating pop-up and results in a high bounce rate, the extra clicks may not be worth it.
  5. Know your inventory. Exchanges such as Taboola (sorry guys…) or other large discovery platforms have a tendency to serve your ads in invasive spaces or have extra-unusual messaging, with the aim of getting clicks and nothing else.
  6. Know the publishers. Publishers can, and do, overuse their space which be annoying. This exposes other experiential problems such as slow or frozen load speeds. Create blacklists of publishers you know you don’t like. Some publishers — even prominent ones such as — rely entirely on advertising revenue, which can cause a host of other issues.
  7. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more for quality. Think about it: Would you rather spend 20 percent more and have your ad placed in a cool, engaging space — or risk damaging your brand bit by bit?
  8. Create attractive, relevant, and useful messaging and visual design. We only have so much space and attention to make an impact. Make it worth it!

So, what’s next?
Let’s go back to our initial question: Do online advertisers hate online ads? Let’s call it a necessary evil — for most of us, we’re actually receptive to well-positioned and well-executed ads. When done right, online advertising is a beneficial, impactful way to connect brands and consumers, hence why we all do it!

Here at Oodle, we take all aspects of advertising seriously (with some fun too, of course). It’s not just about hitting the right audience at the right time. We believe the stars should align, and making a human connection is key for a brand.

If you’re a brand interested in serving ads on the right platform, with the right messaging, at the right time, contact our team of marketing experts at Oodle today.