While some adverts can be really amusing, inspiring and rather memorable when done well, it appears that those behind their design aren't very popular. Indeed, in America, a recent survey by Pew (pdf) released yesterday (5th September)shows that after hackers, Americans consider advertisers to be the main thing people avoid and protect themselves against online.
According to the report, 28 per cent of American internet users had taken active steps to hide from the grasp and gaze of advertisers. This means that they deleted cookies, attempted to reduce their online footprint and removed browsing histories to avoid being tracked by advertisers as they browsed the Internet.
Just under a fifth tried to mask their identity, with one in seven encrypting any communications.
Another report from PageFair (pdf) looked at how many people made use of ad blockers and it appears to be in the region of more than one-fifth of all global internet users.
That's a lot of people actively avoiding adverts.
What's worse is that these people are mostly in the 18-29 year-old demographic who most advertisers are actively aiming at. They're also the audience most advertisers would like to find more information about and track.
It seems that the biggest concern isn't so much the adverts themselves, but the fact that they are becoming increasingly targeted at people and their interests based on their browsing history. Many feel it's an invasion of privacy, and that's something that just doesn't sit well with them.
So, what can be done?
Well, it looks like you've got to get ad-savvy.
Change your approach and, I'm begging you here, stop attempting to make a viral ad. Things go viral naturally, never force it.
Your best approach is to be novel and create amusing and interesting adverts people want to see. Just look at these examples of great advertising campaigns, or even NestlÃ©'s latest Kit Kat campaign.
For many of you out there, it's far better to create original content that conveys information and draws people to it.
It sounds silly, but stop selling, and start explaining – then maybe the Internet will be more receptive to advertisements.