The ARF and Ad Blocking – and How to Confront It

What Drives Ad Blocking – and How to Confront It


Barbara Leflein, Leflein Associates, Inc.; Asaf Davidov, Hulu
February 22, 2018



With reports of increasing ad blocker usage, there is growing concern whether consumers are becoming more averse to advertising, especially younger generations. To better understand whether ad blocking is increasing, especially among younger consumers, Hulu commissioned Leflein Associates to measure the pervasiveness of ad avoidance, identify its drivers, and uncover opportunities to maximize engagement.

Key Takeaways:

    • Ad receptivity is not demographic. No significant difference between gender, age, income, or presence of children emerged.


    • Ad receptivity is psychological:
        • No receptivity viewers tend to be suspicious and headstrong, a combination that would be hard to combat.


        • Low receptivity viewers tend to be critical and stressed, in contrast to high receptivity viewers’ typically agreeable and relaxed personality.


    • Purposeful viewing has a positive impact on ad viewership. When watching one of their favorite shows, respondents were by 21% more likely to view commercials. The likelihood rose to 46%, when respondents were watching their #1 favorite show.


    • The no receptivity group is a small one, and DVRs are their enabler.
    • The low receptivity group is the one to watch. Their ad avoidance strategies include opting for another screen.


  • Reach doesn’t guarantee receptivity. Targeting for efficiency includes understanding not only the demographic makeup of the audience, but their lifestyle and habits, and psychology.
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