Annoying Video Ads 1; Image from Andre Hunter on Unsplash

5 Reasons a Video Ad Might Annoy Your Viewer

Featured Image Source: Unsplash


It’s been a long day and all you’ve been thinking about is relaxing with some chicken noodle soup and watching that new Sam Smith Carpool karaoke everyone’s been talking about.


You sit down with your soup, you hit play, and in comes a loud, obnoxious, unskippable ad about  car insurance. But you don’t need car insurance. You don’t even have a car.


Fed up, you download an ad blocker. 


You’re not alone. Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular ad blocking extension, has been downloaded over 500 million times. That’s over 500 million people that digital marketers aren’t able to reach with their ads. For marketers, ad-blockers equate to money down the drain. Seriously. In regards to potential revenue losses, “…Ovum predicts that 35 billion dollars in ad revenue will be lost by 2020 because of ad blocking.” 


So what does this mean for marketers? Especially for video marketers?


Well, when asked, “Why do you use an adblocker?”, 63% of people said it was because ads were annoying and/or intrusive. However, a HubSpot study found that 68% of people agreed they were fine with seeing ads as long as the ads weren’t annoying. And 77% of people agreed that they didn’t want to completely block ads, they just wanted to filter out the intrusive ones.


That goes to show that people aren’t necessarily closed off to the idea of ever seeing ads online, they just don’t want to see intrusive or disruptive ads online. It’s the intrusive and disruptive ads that drive people to download adblockers. In order to diminish this drive to download adblockers, marketers need to rethink their digital video strategy.




So how do video marketers make sure their ads aren’t annoying/intrusive? There are definitely some things they should avoid:


Annoying Video Ads 2


1. Autoplay w/ Sound


Autoplaying video ads with sound are a surefire way to annoy your viewers. 


If someone’s in a public space, if they’re falling asleep, if they’re already trying to watch a video on a website, and then all of a sudden a loud video ad starts autoplaying – that’s stressful. And annoying. And intrusive. It will also almost definitely have a negative impact on someone’s perception of your company or brand.


In fact, 82% of people report that they have completely closed out of a web page because of an auto-playing video ad, and 51% say they tend to think less of brands that use auto-playing online video ads.


So just… don’t do it.


2. Unskippable Pre-roll Video


In the study conducted by HubSpot, 57% of people said they disliked videos that played before content loads such as on Youtube. And according to research released by a video advertising platform, Teads, over 52% of people said that pre-roll is the most interfering format of video ads.


However, there are ways to include pre-roll ads in your marketing strategy without causing too much annoyance for your viewers. In a study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group about ‘The Most Hated Online Advertising Techniques,’ participants said, “video ads before a video you want to watch are okay as long as they are short and give you an option to skip after so many seconds.”


So, if you can create a short and innovative/entertaining pre-roll ad, or at least give viewers the option of skipping the ad, odds are viewers won’t mind seeing it. People like to be in control of their content, so simply giving them the option to skip will make them more open to whatever it is you’re selling.


Here’s a good example of an acceptable pre-roll ad:



It’s short, it grabs the viewer’s attention from the start, it’s short, it’s comedic, and most importantly, it’s short. Good job, Old Spice.




3. Pop-ups 


Oh pop-up ads. Especially pop-up autoplaying video ads.


Pop-up ads are sort of equivalent to a car blocking an intersection when you have a green light. All they’re doing is blocking someone from getting to their destination. According to HubSpot’s ‘Annoying Ads’ survey, 73% of people said they dislike online pop-up ads. 


And in the study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group, one of the participants stated, “ads that pop up in the way, force you to close them, or flash for attention, just make me hate the product being advertised.”


If someone is going to a page for a specific purpose and they get derailed by pop-up ads, the ad is going to leave a sour impression in the mind of the viewer. Specifically if the pop-up ad is a video that the viewer is forced to watch before they get to the content they actually want to see. 


4. Irrelevance to the viewer


70% of Americans say they get annoyed by irrelevant pop-up ads, and according to survey from Adlucent, 71% of respondents said they would prefer ads that are tailored to their personalized interests and shopping habits.


In general, people don’t want to be bothered with products and services that they don’t care about. So spending money to have your video ads shown to people who have absolutely no need/interest in your product or service is a waste of your money, and a waste of their time.


In today’s digital-centric world, personalization and targeting are key to successful advertisements – video ads included.


5. Poor quality


Annoying Video Ads 4; Image from Solway Communications

Image Source: Solway Communications


Poor quality ads can lead to buffering, slow loading, and can use up a large amount of data. In regards to the top reasons people are driven to download adblockers, 36% of people said adblockers allow for better page load time/reduced bandwidth use.


Marketers can help reduce the buffering and page load time caused by their video ads by using top-quality technology to produce their ads.


What’s more, poor quality ads can also just be plain disinteresting to the viewer. Increasing production-value will pay off in the long-run.




In the end, when you’re working on your video marketing strategy and planning digital video advertisements, make sure your ads provide value.


They should be well-produced, quality ads that the viewer will want to see. They should be entertaining or intriguing, and they should be short.


Also, make sure they’re placed where the viewer won’t mind seeing them. A little subtlety with placement goes a long way with digital video advertisements. Don’t smack your viewers in the face with your ads. They probably won’t like that.  




Dana High is a Marketing and Communications intern for Green Buzz Agency. She’s definitely part of the 82% of people who close out of web pages because of autoplaying video ads.

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