Posted on April 7, 2022

Are Ad Blocking Users Success-Driven?

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When we talk about values, and how these values impact and inspire voting habits and political affiliation in any given demographic, we’re usually talking about selfless, altruistic values like building community, helping others before yourself, and helping the environment. (Interested in learning more? We talked a lot about these values and their relationship to political leanings in a recent post!)

But values are about more than helping others. Sometimes, they’re about helping yourself get ahead.

Values that revolve around success and self-interest motivate American ad filterers— the 95% of users that choose to run an ad blocker but have also consented to see ad—and reveal a striking fact: ad filterers are motivated to improve their lives and livelihoods.

In particular, ad filterers have a thirst for knowledge. They never want to stop learning. More than 2/3 of American ad filterers are inspired to keep acquiring new skills, answering affirmatively that “Learning new skills is important to me.”

They’re also interested in being successful (59%) and in challenging themselves (57.4%). But notably, they’re not in it for the attention: only 15% of ad filterers value “standing out in a crowd.”

So what inferences can we draw from this data?

How Do Republicans and Democrats View Success?

The definition of “success” varies depending on who you ask—as do the meanings behind “challenging yourself” and “learning new skills.” We turned to Pew Research for a little more information on what values, and what the definitions of personal challenge, skills, and success, might mean for Democrats and Republicans.

And we found that similar groups of values are at the core of both Democrats and Republicans’ list of what gives meaning to life.

These are listed as “material well-being, stability, and quality of life,” and “occupation and career,” by Pew, and both rank 3rd and 4th (out of a total of 5) for people across the political spectrum. (Source)

When asked which values gave life meaning, 21% of Democrats answered, “material well-being, stability, and quality of life,” placing it as the 3rd most important cluster of values. 19% of Democrats answered, “occupation and career,” meaning it ranked in 4th place.

Interestingly, these categories were ranked identically by Republicans. 17% of Republican voters felt that “material well-being, stability, and quality of life” gave meaning to their lives, and 17% of Republican voters felt “occupation and career” did.

We know that slightly more American ad filterers vote Democrat than Republican—although many are undecided or vote independent as well—so this data isn’t altogether surprising. Slightly more than half of ad filterers find success-driven values, a value set deemed marginally more vital for giving meaning to life by Democrats than by Republicans, “important to me.”


AAX is devoted to knowing everything there is to know about ad filterers. In one previous study we looked into what makes this demographic unique, another study examined their purchasing habits, and our most recent study dug deep into ad filterer motivation: the reasons ad filterers avoid advertisements, and how and why those reasons change.

Our passion for all things ad filterer is why we’ve turned our attention to an issue that’s capturing everyone’s attention: ad filterers’ political profiles. We’ve looked through the fascinating findings over at the GlobalWebIndex (GWI) to compile a new study—American Ad Blocking Users’ Political Profile—available for free download in May 2022.