Contrary to popular belief, ad blockers don’t mean certain doom and gloom for the advertising world. Your credit union’s marketing team, however, should still be aware of these digital marketing forces. With more and more consumers using ad blockers and ad-free digital subscriptions, it may look like the world of digital marketing is on its way out the door, but that is not necessarily the case. People don’t dislike ads, they simply dislike bad experiences with ads.

According to a report by eMarketer, over a quarter of all U.S. internet users, nearly 70 million people, use technology to block online ads. Ad blocking exists so that consumers can have more control over what they are seeing. Consumers don’t want to see ads that are aggressive or invasive. After all, no one wants to be interrupted while watching a funny cat video. Instead, consumers want to see ads that inform, entertain and have relevance while still being respectful of their viewing experiences. Consumers want ads that give value to their digital experience. Because of this, your credit union doesn’t need to fear ad blockers, you simply need to embrace sincere and meaningful ways of advertising in order to capture consumers’ attention. How do you do that? Well, here are some important reasons how your credit union can overcome ad blocker concerns.

1. Consumers are receptive to ads that respect their online space

Many consumers find ads to be intrusive and irritating. Because of this, they are more receptive to ads that actually respect their online space. They don’t want ads popping up during their favorite show on Netflix or appearing in their Instagram feed. Consumers enjoy ads that are non-invasive and not “in your face.” Because of this, many consumers are telling advertisers to stay out of their bubble. Presenting ads to look and sound like a trusted companion shows care and consideration. Facebook changed their settings so that videos no longer play sound until they are tapped or clicked on. This leads to less ad fatigue. Being respectful of people’s space makes them feel valued.

2. Socially relevant ads see high engagement

Ads featuring socially relevant content are more likely to grab the attention of consumers, especially younger generations. This kind of content is real-time and current. It engages consumers and reflects what they’re doing and experiencing at that moment. Younger consumers are generally more plugged in to the online world, and they like to control everything they see digitally throughout the day. They consider their own personal preferences when choosing what they do and do not want to see online. Because of this, they often interact exclusively with content that ties into relatable, notable issues. Nike does an excellent job with this type of integration, including a recent marketing campaign that focuses on equality and equal rights. Vancity Credit Union also interlaced current social issues into a recent Instagram ad by inviting it’s followers to speak out against racism and discrimination.

3. Consumers still follow brands on social platforms

Although consumers appear to be blocking ads on their devices, they’re still consistently following their favorite brands on their preferred social platforms. Take this as a win. The impulse to follow brands on social media comes from consumers wanting to learn more about products or services and then follow promotions or news about those products or services. That means that your credit union should have a strong social presence.

4. Informative ads see a lot of interaction

If your credit union’s ad can tell people something they don’t already know, they’re more likely to interact with it. The problem is, many consumers feel they are not served relevant or interesting ads when browsing the utmost corners of the internet. They want to know how your brand can improve their lives, but they want the information served up in a natural and seamless manner. This is why native advertising (a piece of writing or other material that resembles editorial content in publications) is expected to climb to $8.8 billion by 2018. In addition to native ads, consider simple marketing that offers engaging demonstrations, benefits, facts, comparisons or more. For example, check out this ad by Truliant Federal Credit Union comparing credit unions to banks. It’s not fancy, but it drives home a key, informative point. Banks merge, and they’re not as “people-focused.” Truliant Federal Credit Union does care, and it’s there for you.


Ad blockers are not the end of the advertising world – just the advertising world as we currently know it. The nature of advertising, especially digital advertising, will always be evolving, and, as a credit union marketer, it’s important to be ready to adapt. No matter which strategy your credit union chooses, it is important to remember that consumers aren’t blocking every single ad they encounter. They are only blocking the ads that give them negative experiences. As a digital marketer, be mindful, relevant and informative to engage consumers, and think of ad blockers as a teacher… not an enemy.