Is Disruptive Advertising Your Friend Or Foe?

Have you ever been on your phone or desktop browsing the web, reading the latest news or shopping for your favorite shoes, then all of a sudden… out of the wild, a pop-up appears?

The pop-up was most likely asking you to subscribe, submit your details, or to click away for a special offer.

Do you remember how that made you feel? Did you feel annoyed or did you have a greater affinity with the brand that appeared on the pop-up? My assumption is that it’s usually the former.

Brands want you to love their brand and purchase their products, but they often do so by bombarding the consumer with ads that can disrupt their experience, which ironically can create the opposite effect of what the brand was hoping to achieve.

If disruptive advertising annoys the consumer, why do brands continue to invest in such advertising?

Well, it turns out that disruptive advertising can be pretty effective after all.

Annoy Me, Only Sometimes…

Pop Up Ads

While pop-up ads are still viewed as annoying, especially when interrupting a pleasant activity (e.g. shopping), researchers have discovered that disruptive advertising can actually help in positively influencing brand recognition and preference.

Pop-up ads mean consumers are exposed to a brand and require some form of interaction with the ad (e.g. closing the ad). The exposure and involvement in a task results in the processing of both the ad & brand, increasing a consumer’s ability to recall the brand.

Humans are also creatures of habit and it’s in our nature to seek out patterns and avoid change. So when a pop-up ad appears featuring a brand that was easily processed and recalled, it can lead to a higher preference for that brand. Consumers prefer previously experienced over novel stimuli.

Does this mean I should bombard my consumers with endless pop ads?

I wouldn’t go that far! While pop-up ads are found to be effective in increasing brand preferences, they often disrupt pleasant activities, and if pop-up ads become too frequent, they may actually discourage consumers from engaging in activities that involve disruptive advertising or even resort to other measures to reduce ad exposure (e.g. installing an ad-blocker).

So…What Does This Mean for Me?

Disruptive advertising, when used correctly, can be your friend when it comes to increasing brand recognition and preference:

  • Disruptive advertising — Figure out the timing, placement, and frequency of your pop-up ads. Make sure to provide consumers with personalized and relevant content at the right time, the right number of times.

Assess your advertising efforts and see how disruptive advertising can help your brand!