Intrusive ads that disrupt consumers’ browsing experiences or shopping journeys risk lower engagement and, crucially, lost conversion and sales opportunities, the latest research from Wunderkind, the leading performance marketing channel that scales one-to-one messages for retailers and brands, reveals.

Original research of 1,000 digitally-active shoppers in Wunderkind’s latest ‘Kindness in Advertising’ report showed that 70% believe advertisers don’t respect their digital experience, with a further 95% reporting that their content consumption is interrupted by intrusive ads.  Nine in ten (92%) shoppers also feel ads are becoming more intrusive, according to the study.

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These disrupted ad experiences are not just watering down on-site user experience, frustrating consumers and interrupting their browsing and buying journeys.  They are also driving lower engagement and, critically, prompting lower conversion rates, limiting the effectiveness of ads and significantly lowering marketing ROI and ROAS (return on ad spend).

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Wunderkind’s poll revealed that 91% of shoppers won’t make purchases from brand who serve ads they perceive to be intrusive.  A separate study by Bulbshare reported that disruptive advertising is prompting 99% of Gen Z consumers to frequently skip ads, while nearly two-thirds (63%) of online shoppers use ad blockers to avoid online adverts altogether.

And it’s not just consumer sentiment that points – to the impact of intrusive ads; research of 100 senior marketing executives also by Wunderkind in its 2023 CMO State of the Union report showed that half 50% felt digital ads weren’t growing brand loyalty and 44% said their online adverts weren’t driving sufficient levels of sales.

Over two thirds (68%) of consumers polled by Wunderkind would be more likely to engage with an ad when they have completely disengaged from content, while 60% would prefer to only see ads only when they’ve finished engaging with the content on the website.

Amy Pearce, Head of Advertising at Wunderkind International, commented: “Ads are quite often cast as the bad guys.  But the truth is that when ads are served at the right time, to the right user, in the right – and often in a more organic – way, consumers are happy and willing to meaningfully engage.  In the same way that retailers and brands focus on personalising the shopping experience, brands need to consider how and when an ad is best served to consumers in order to create the user-first advertising experiences that drives up engagement and ROI-generating conversions.”