ad-blocking

Balancing consumer, company, and advertiser needs.

Researching and implementing an elegant solution to request users to turn off their ad blocking software.

 

Client - Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book provides reputable car values for new and used cars at no cost to consumers. Their revenue comes from advertisements on the site.

The Challenge

Mitigate declining advertising performance and lost revenue opportunity caused by new ad blocking software.

The Outcome

Created ad blocker wall that prevents consumers from accessing content unless they turn off ad blockers.  Recaptured $503k in monthly revenue.


Empathize with the User

Balancing consumer and business needs starts with the awareness that there are multiple perspectives to this situation. The first perspective is that of the consumer coming to Kelley Blue Book for their free car value.  The second is that of the advertisers looking to promote their brand and new car line-up on KBB.com.  The third is that of, Kelley Blue Book itself, which is working to keep the lights on with a suitable amount of revenue.  We conducted stakeholder interviews and analytics research to gather all the voices, needs and perspectives.

Company Resources - Kelley Blue Book compiled years of expertise in the automotive industry.  Confidential within the company, but valuable to the UX Designer trying to target the sweet spot between the three voices. 

Company Resources - Kelley Blue Book compiled years of expertise in the automotive industry.  Confidential within the company, but valuable to the UX Designer trying to target the sweet spot between the three voices. 

Stakeholder Interviewers - Looping in stakeholders allowed all to contribute to solvingthis puzzle.  Sales, ad team, ad operations, we had weekly meetings on cross-functional teams to address the problem.

Stakeholder Interviewers - Looping in stakeholders allowed all to contribute to solvingthis puzzle.  Sales, ad team, ad operations, we had weekly meetings on cross-functional teams to address the problem.

Data-driven Conclusions - At every step, we turned to analytics to estimate the revenue opportunity. In talking with Sales in stakeholder interviews, we found they really want to know this number.

Data-driven Conclusions - At every step, we turned to analytics to estimate the revenue opportunity. In talking with Sales in stakeholder interviews, we found they really want to know this number.


Define the Solution

We aimed to create an ad blocking solution that clearly explained the value proposition of turning off ad blockers.  We considered pure text, humorous messaging and different visual styles for the ad wall.  We also considered alternative monetization ideas such as watching a video to continue instead of turning off ad blockers.

Humor to lighten the ask - Would humor make people more likely to comply with our ask?  A friendly, but assertive tone helps get the job done. 

Humor to lighten the ask - Would humor make people more likely to comply with our ask?  A friendly, but assertive tone helps get the job done. 

Artboards - Several artboards showing different versions of the alternative monetization idea.  How would people perceive the video?  Playing first, expand, inside the box?

Artboards - Several artboards showing different versions of the alternative monetization idea.  How would people perceive the video?  Playing first, expand, inside the box?


Build, Test & Iterate

Our solution needed to obtain the highest number of people whitelisting (i.e. turning off their ad blocker), while still maintaining a decent customer satisfaction score.  We decided upon 80% satisfaction as our benchmark.  With several rounds of live testing, we settled upon the solid ad wall with standard messaging.  Surprisingly, the humorous test did not perform as well.

Challengers - We mapped out A/B testing with several Challengers to our control (i.e. the baseline) we were testing.  Our red boxes highlight the areas of difference.

Challengers - We mapped out A/B testing with several Challengers to our control (i.e. the baseline) we were testing.  Our red boxes highlight the areas of difference.

Internal Test Map - The whole process consisted of eight testing sessions.  We gathered our results into an internal test map that kept our results organized.

Internal Test Map - The whole process consisted of eight testing sessions.  We gathered our results into an internal test map that kept our results organized.