Posted on October 20, 2020

How do ad filterers interact with brands online?

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As we discussed in depth in our last post, ad filterers are intrepid brand discoverers, constantly learning, evolving, and seeking out new brands at rates as much as three times that of users without ad blockers installed on their devices.

This is a still surprising fact for many. (We can’t count how many time we’ve been asked “People who filter their ad experience are still open and excited to learn about new brands?”) But what comes after this brand discovery is even more interesting from a marketing perspective.

Because ad filterers don’t lose interest in a brand in the post-discovery phase. Instead, they become, if anything, even more intrigued by the particulars of the brand’s identity. This leads to behavior that can be summarized as being both highly engaged and interactive.

The relationship between ad filterers and brands may start at discovery, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. Instead, the data trove over at the GlobalWebIndex (GWI) shows that ad filterers are approximately three times as likely to click on an online ad at the top or side of a website. In other words, that discovery leads to immediate, definable action.

We’d chalk this up to the innate curiosity of ad filterers, a demographic defined by its high levels of education, wealth, and thrill-seeking behavior. But we also think that, by virtue of the fact that ad filterers generally curate their own ad exposure, often choosing to be served unobtrusive Acceptable Ads, that they’re receptive to the ads they do encounter while browsing. After all, the ads they see are usually tasteful, respectful, and don’t demand the attention of the user through obnoxious methods.

This appears to translate into engagement that lasts long past the point of clicking on online ads. Ad filterers are also more than three times as likely to visit a brand’s social network page as non- ad blocking users, and more than twice as likely to follow a brand’s social media presence as non-ad blocking users.

And that engagement is priceless. Literally. Forbes, in reporting on the invaluable asset of social media, asserts that “It works. In many ways, social media is the new word of mouth.

This suggests a correlation we find fascinating: users, when served respectful and non-intrusive ads, will actually reward the brands serving these ads with greater-than-average engagement and long-lasting interactivity.


In January of this year we published our groundbreaking study, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ad Blocking Users,” which drew back the curtain on the youthful, affluent, and well-educated users that have ad blockers installed on their devices.

But it turns out that there was even more to discover about this dynamic demographic.

We’ve once more consulted the trove of data that GlobalWebIndex (GWI) keeps about internet behavior and teased out more insights ad filterers, who GWI defines as “users who have blocked ads in the past month but discover brands or products through ads seen online and have clicked on an online ad in the past month.”

The result? AAX’s second study: Ad Filterers Online: Purchasing Habits and Media Consumption In The USA.

We’ll be publishing the study in full in November, but we wanted to give our followers a preview of the insights to come. That’s why, for the next five weeks, we’re highlighting our findings in a series of posts that consider some of our findings in a new light.