Category: Ads


Privacy Advocates Fight Back with Ad Nauseam

Resisting ads on Google may be futile, but some are still not giving up the fight. Specifically, the people behind Ad Nauseam are dedicated to an approach that may be summed up as “if you can’t bear ‘em, obfuscate ‘em.”

It describes its function as “Clicking ads so you don’t have to.” You can download Ad Nauseam 3.9 for Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.

The browser extension is born out of the fact that even Ad Blockers have limits as the anti-ad-blocker software has learned to detect ads being blocked and so will take some kind of action anti-ad-blocker software has learned to detect ads being blocked and so will take some kind of action against those visitors who prefer not to have their digital experience dominated by ads.

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Ad Nauseam offers a brief explanation on its site:

As online advertising becomes ever more ubiquitous and unsanctioned, AdNauseam works to complete the cycle by automating ad clicks universally and blindly on behalf of its users. Built atop uBlock Origin, AdNauseam quietly clicks on every blocked ad, registering a visit on ad networks’ databases. As the collected data gathered shows an omnivorous click-stream, user tracking, targeting and surveillance become futile.

Those who wish to learn more about it are encouraged to click on the link to an eight-page long PDF entitled “Engineering Privacy and Protest: a Case Study of AdNauseam.”

It’s quite coherent and concise for an ideological manifesto and answers questions about why they take this particular approach.


For example, the answer to why the extension is set to click the ads instead of ignoring them is the following paragraph:

A critic might ask: Why click? Why not simply hide ads from users and hide users from trackers? There are two reasons. First, AdNauseam is inspired by the path-breaking work of Priscilla Regan, who argued that beyond the protection of individual interests, privacy may serve social ends, similar to collective goods such as clean air or national defense [38]. This notion of privacy as a collective good presents interesting engineering and evaluation challenges, which, in our view, warrant close attention. Thus, AdNauseam may stimulate deliberation not only on its particular features, but may draw attention to the conception of privacy it seeks to promote. A second reason for clicking, as opposed to simply blocking, is that AdNauseam seeks concurrently to achieve the goal of expressive resistance to tracking through protest. And since protest generally involves being vocal, AdNauseam’s design seeks to give voice to users. Rather than enacting privacy as concealment, AdNauseam provides a means for users to express, in plain sight, their dissent by disrupting the dominant model of commercial surveillance. This approach embodies a principle drawn from the theory of contextual integrity, namely, privacy as appropriate flow of information [36]. Thus, AdNauseam does not hide deliberate clicks from trackers but rather, by surrounding these clicks with decoy clicks, obfuscates inferences from clicks to users’ interests, which may be manipulated in various ways, including via behavioral advertising. AdNauseam does not block clicks; instead, it blocks inappropriate access to interest profiles that trackers may infer from them

So, you see, these are rebels who are quite clear about their cause and their tactics. That there is a need for such a position and such a solution should remind marketers that forcing ads on people is counter productive.

By associating your brand with coercive tactics, you get the opposite of a halo effect. In other words, it’s likely to turn your customers off and certainly won’t make them feel more loyal to you.

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Ads We Loved: ‘Tis the Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But Christmas will be different from other years due to COVID-19, and brands are reading the room.

Staying away from pandemic themed messages, this year’s Christmas ads spread some much-needed festive cheer and fill us with hope, happiness, and laughter.

1. Christmas is This Very Moment

Very’s tongue-in-cheek Christmas ad sends the message that the best thing about Christmas is not just the day itself but all the details in the build-up. This ad is realistic, raw, honest, and captures what’s really special about Christmas.

2. TK Maxx: Lil’ Goat

High-street retailer TK Maxx brings a sassy fashion-forward goat to spread some Christmas cheer. This upbeat Christmas ad intelligently acknowledges the challenges of 2020 and celebrates the act of gift-giving. It’s great to see a playful and uplifting Christmas ad – with some cool and cheerful music, too.

3. Lego: And I Think to Myself

Filled with robots and dragons, this playful Christmas commercial by Lego celebrates the magic of the everyday as experienced by children through Lego play.  The ad is a fantasy trip that provides a welcome escape from reality-which some of us need.

4. Argos: An Evening with AbracaDaisy & The Incredible Lucy

What’s Christmas without some magic? Argos taps into nostalgia in a Christmas campaign inspired by its popular catalogue, “Book of Dreams”. This year, two sisters have their dreams of becoming master magicians come true after they circle a box of magic tricks in an Argos gift guide.

5. Pepsi Max: Christmas Refreshed

Christmas Refreshed shatters old Christmas traditions and encourages people to try something new this season. Enlisting rap artists, Kamakaze and TrueMendous, the ad replaces long standing tropes of Christmas with cool alternatives – a hench sound system replaces a sledge, and a festive jumper transforms into a sick Pepsi jacket.

6. Asda: That’s An Asda Price Christmas

Acknowledging that this year’s Christmas will be a little different for everyone, Asda’s price-focused campaign reassures customers that everyone can have an extra special Christmas at the prices they want. This ad brings some seasonal cheer to customers with a no-frills approach.

7. Walmart: America’s Cart

Walmart’s Holiday season commercial does an effective recap of 2020 through what their customers have been buying.

The ad shows Walmart customers online shopping searches begin with regular things like Valentine’s day cards and beanies. But as the world changed, demand for essential supplies like milk and sugar increased. The ad is a great reminder of what’s truly essential in our lives hasn’t change.

8. Amazon: The Show Must Go On

Set to an arrangement of Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’, Amazon’s holiday ad tells the inspiring story of a young ballerina who triumphs through the challenges of 2020. This inspiring ad pays tribute to the indomitable human spirit and the power of community.


The post Ads We Loved: ‘Tis the Season appeared first on Post Funnel.


Ads We Loved: Get Politcal or Get Political

Welcome to our 3rd Ads We Loved, a monthly round-up of… well, I’m not telling. You’re gonna have to figure this one out yourself.

So, while some of you are still thinking, others can move ahead with the program.

Past Ads We Loved Articles:
Ads We Loved: See How the Biggest Brands Stay Relevant and Helpful
Ads We Loved: The Travis Meal, TikTok, and the Unfinished Billboard

And this month, with the US elections coming up, are already underway. At the same time, advertisers understand consumers are a bit tired of, and need a little break from, overly serious and emotional (mostly covid19 related) messaging. And so, a few took a more subtle way to use the marketing efforts ALSO to say something while promoting their products and brands.

While others said “screw it” and brought a vocal political message to their TV spot. Because there’s a time to be sensitive with your consumers’ fatigue of certain motifs, and a month before elections, isn’t it.

We’ll go from the subtle to the forthright.

1. Gemi: Time for a Change


Not a huge brand name, and covered with what seems like a completely a-political personal background story, entirely irrelevant for this specific moment in time. But putting this very clear messenger out there, in this timing? Freudian, to say the least.

2. Banana Republic: Work for a Better Republic


This ad, showing people handing clothes to one another while emphasizing the company’s donations to people in need, is clearly hammering on the need/expectation/ability for/from/of brands to be super helpful in this reality. But the tagline, in this ad that launched less than a month before the official elections day, is strongly capping off an unmistakable message for some change.

3. Oakley + NFL: We Shape the Future


Alright, this comes with zero surprise factor. Right? But still, while one might argue that the use of the word “shape” perhaps alludes to the recognizable shape of the sunglasses band, it’s gonna take a lot of mental work to block what is clearly the subtext of such a call.

4. Jordan: REAL TALK

If BR and M. Gemi’s messages were hidden, and Oakley’s was maybe playing a double-meaning game, Jordan brand is not playing any games. The loud VOTE call, with a rare appearance from his Airness himself, and powerful testimonials from a few of the brand’s most important partners, leaves no room for questions about what this spot is all about.


5. Modelo: ‘Worth Voting For’

Still on voting, but from the Mexican beer brand – that is very much associated with the Latinx communities in the States. It really doesn’t get any straightforward than this.


6. Walgreens: The Walk of Life: Medicare


Or is it? While voting is (or, at least, should be) a bipartisan matter – medicare is far from it. And still, Walgreen is not afraid to out its name right next to it.

7. Vaseline: Equitable Care for Skin of Color

But no one was braver than the Unilever-owned American skincare brand. Anything we’ll say here will only take away from such a powerful, just, moving, and bold 30 seconds ad.

And, we just had to finish with something a little different. So, see this.

8. Subaru: Easy Commute

We’ll just ask what most of you are anyway thinking: When gazillions of people are working from home, and most schools in the English speaking world are still closed, who talks about “commute” and show parents picking up kids from school? Hey, peeps at Carmichael Lynch, we’ll have what you’re having!

The post Ads We Loved: Get Politcal or Get Political appeared first on Post Funnel.

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