Responsive Ads Blog

Users are in Control: Google allows users to turn-off Retargeting Ads




This is part of many articles that we will discuss and shape the conversation on how Users need to be in control.  With the launch of Google’s Chrome Ad Blocker on Feb 15, 2018, it is clear that that is the direction Google is going;  to give users full control over advertising.

In this article by Patrio Robles,  he shares his thoughts on what we expect to be the beginning of the end of Retargeted ads as we know them


Life continues to get more and more difficult for marketers, particularly those who target users as precisely as possible.

Earlier this week, Mozilla announced that it has added Opt-in Tracking Protection to Firefox Quantum, the latest version of its popular browser. Opt-in Tracking Protection enables users to block trackers, many of which are used by ad networks, all time time. Previously, Firefox blocked trackers only when users were browsing in private mode.

But the week is ending on an even worse note for marketers after Google announced that it is expanding the number of places where its “Mute this Ad” functionality will be available. In addition, it will be applying “Mute this Ad” across devices. Once a user tells Google she doesn’t like an ad, Google will stop displaying it across all the devices that user is logged into.

Perhaps more worryingly, the search giant also announced that it is adding a new feature to Ads Settings that will specifically let users “mute” remarketing ads.

Referring to remarketing ads as “reminder ads”, Google explained:

Reminder ads like these can be useful, but if you aren’t shopping for Snow Boot Co.’s boots anymore, then you don’t need a reminder about them. A new control within Ads Settings will enable you to mute Snow Boot Co.’s reminder ads. Today, we’re rolling out the ability to mute the reminder ads in apps and on websites that partner with us to show ads. We plan to expand this tool to control ads on YouTube, Search, and Gmail in the coming months. For more information about this new control, check out our Help Center article.

As can be seen in a screenshot Google published of the new setting, users will be able to view a list of the websites that are delivering remarketing ads to them, and thus tracking them, and opt-out from having ads from those websites delivered to them going forward.

google mute ads

A valuable reminder for marketers

It remains to be seen how many Google users will actually take advantage of the ability to “mute” remarketing ads. While Google says that users clicked on “Mute this Ad” buttons over 5bn times in 2017, that’s still a very small fraction of the number of ads the search giant served. What’s more, the setting for muting remarketing ads isn’t nearly as obvious. The vast majority of Google users almost certainly don’t change their settings because most of them probably aren’t even aware they exist.

Even so, Google’s move, combined with the growing availability and use of anti-tracking functionality, is a wake-up call for marketers. Many of them use remarketing quite extensively, and for good reason: implemented well, remarketing campaigns can be among the most effective.

The good news, however, is that even if it becomes more difficult to remarket to users through ad platforms, there are still ways that marketers will be able to remarket.

For example, numerous companies offer tools that allow marketers to send automated emails to their users based on actions they take or don’t take on their sites and in their mobile apps. Using these tools, retailers can, for instance, send automated promotional emails for specific products to users who added those products to cart but later abandoned cart. Real estate agents can send automated promotional emails to clients who have viewed a particular property multiple times. And so on and so forth.

Obviously, email-based tools require that marketers have users’ email addresses and be able to tie website or app activity to them. Typically, but not always, that means that users must be logged into a website or app, or visit through a special tracking link. This is easier accomplished for some marketers than others.

But given the likelihood that the golden days of ad-based remarketing are behind us, smart marketers will look at the this as an opportunity to rethink how they remarket to users and evaluate any technical changes they need to make to support remarketing in a world that is increasingly hostile to third-party tracking and targeted advertising.

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Publisher’s Next 30 days: What to do about the Chrome Ad Blocker Release Feburary 15 2018

At ResponsiveAds our mission is to make it fast and easy to produce awesome creative that users want.  How do you do that in a world where ad blockers are becoming mainstream. As the free web has been built by a business model of advertising, sponsored and marketing content it is hard to believe that all of the ad business with just evaporate when the industry is seeing YoY growth in digital spends and the transition of offline traditional media dollars to digital.

On Feb 15th,  With Google’s own ad blocker in Chrome, they plan to eliminate the need for users to install other ad blockers with a solution to the “bad” ad problem.  As one of the largest advertising companies, it is in their best interest to deliver a solution that works.  Between Google and Facebook alone a majority of the digital media dollar spend is through their networks.

The promise with this new ad blocker is to follow the standards laid out by the CBA “ Coalition of Better Advertising”  The spec can be found here at

The key messages we find for Publishers is to follow these three common-sense principles:

  1. Limit anything that animates, moves or plays video.  With sound, it must be muted with to user-initiated trigger only.
  2. Eliminate anything that covers the content.  This conversation is good for websites and your applications (e.g mobile iOS or Android apps)
  3. Work with ad tech companies that prioritize load performance and high-quality creative
  4. Less-is-more approach by developing a few high earning positions, instead of as many small multiple square ad slots all over the page that gives ad clutter.

As a first of many posts to come,  Here is a quick summary of three starting options we have available for your digital responsive ads:

[1] Employ Responsive Native and Flexible Formats: Develop and work with better ad formats that fit-more natively on the page and the content.  Native Ads have been a success, but we believe they can be taken to a much more rich, dynamic, immersive and interactive level with creative delivered from tools such as ResponsiveAds Narrator™ Studio.   We believe to get the fastest loads and the best performance it is imperative to keep ad sizes under 200K

[2] Better Placement Strategies:  As you must kill your Pop-ups or ads that cover the content, develop strategies such as these positions.

  • Top Edge-to-Edge Responsive Expandables:  These are your most premium positions when the prestitial and interstials must be eliminated.
    • 1×1 placement in the top header of the content.  The ad can push down to a nice height ( from 300~600H) for high-impact with a certain frequency cap for users, and then close-up (66~90H) or disappear.
    • Top 970×250 IAB Slot to have similar expandables that can go edge-to-edge or even just and edge-to-edge Responsive banner
  • Develop edge-to-edge placements: In the top and middle leader placements with Page-Scrollers™, Edge-to-edge parallax units and also dynamic expandables
  • Immersive First: Leverage solutions such as carousel galleries, engaging gamified content or highly immersive creative approaches that bring some value to the end-user.  The ResponsiveAds platform enables designers to embed anything they want as long as the loads are light.  When deploying video units assure that there is a progressive delivery system to optimize the performance of the video.

[3] Scrutinize the animation and develop rich-engaging creative:  When building out ads with animation, we have found that subtle animation that flows for only several seconds is better than the 5~10 sec animated banners. The attention span of the user scrolling down the page in many cases is even less than 2 seconds unless they are reading an article and the ad is a companion.  Even if this is the case, you never want to interrupt the user, but bring value to your readers with engaging strategies.

As there are only 30 days left till the Chrome Ad Blocker update with hit millions of users.   Time is now to get this right.

Happy Planning….

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Chameleon or Fruit? Publisher’s Integrated Ad Strategy Challenges

1/15/2018  – *Blue Monday with the Blue Chameleon

Matthew Snyder

Amidst the challenges Publishers are facing in 2018 monetizing with advertising that culminated  from low commoditized CPM’s, regulated social syndicated growth (e.g. Facebook’s announcement of deprioritization for pubs)  and Google’s end-user power play by taking control over Ad Blocking  (Chrome with Adblock Feb 15th 2018) should embrace chameleon or flower-like strategies for integrated advertising.   Let me explain.


When one thinks of a chameleon,  we think of a beautiful creature that blends into its environment.  This is how I see the how native advertising has evolved.   Content that tries to blend into the look-n-feel of the page.  Even with the propensity to see more personalization, targeted relevancy the content is still pushed to the end-user in an environment that makes it the least interruptive as possible.  There is no question this part of the future of advertising as the combination of content-marketing and ads blend further together.      Some of the problems we have seen with Native advertising has been the overabundance of low-quality content feeds like thousands of geckos running loose in your garden,.  As a consumer, they are great to watch, but what value to they bring…. Makes me think about “fake news”.


Then  I think of a comparison to fruit.   As fruit grows it becomes rich with beautiful colors as well and fresh at the point of ripening.  Fruit do not necessarily blend in totally like a chameleon, but they do not look out of place either.  They can still be highly integrated and when a consumer reaches out to engage, they get a sweetness that is satisfying.  Isn’t this what ads like branded content should be?  Beautiful and sweet to the senses.

As we progress into 2018, we look forward to continuing to share our thoughts on how advertising evolves…   Happy New Year.   Are you embracing a Chameleon or Fruit strategy?


* BTW-  Today is Blue Monday.  A concept originally created for the saddest day of the year as part of an advertising campaign for Sky Travel.’ allowfullscreen frameborder=0

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Season Greetings from ResponsiveAds

Thank you all for a great 2017.   It was a very good year for ResponsiveAds as we worked to improve our Narrator Studio product and enhanced many of our publisher’s bespoke creative development and premium revenue-generating strategies.   This is just some of the many units produced with the platform, but overall in 2017, we served over 2Billion impressions of high-impact edge-to-edge creative with over 20x performance of typical industry rich-media presented by Google.

This is our Youtube channel of some of the Responsive HTML 5 creative of 2017.   If you subscribe you will see new units as we add them to the gallery.

Warm Regards from TEAM RAD.

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How to Be Responsive to the Google Freeze of Your Ads: Quick Migration to HTML5


Google seems to throw last-minute changes on us. In April, the tech giant changed its algorithm so websites that use responsive web design or have a separate mobile site come up first when searching on mobile devices. In fact, software developer Moovweb conducted a study since “Mobilegeddon” was implemented to see how the algorithm change has influenced search results. It found that during 83 percent of searches, the top website was mobile-friendly, 81 percent of the time the top three items were mobile-friendly, and 77 percent of first-page search results were mobile-friendly. Now, Google wants brands and agencies to turn away from Adobe Flash and to HTML5 for online advertising.

Starting Sept. 1, Google’s web browser, Chrome, will pause certain autoplay Flash ads, according to a Google+ post.

Google explained it this way when it announced the change in June:

“When you’re on a webpage that runs Flash, we’ll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption. If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback. This update significantly reduces power consumption, allowing you to surf the web longer before having to hunt for a power outlet.” Advertisements also fall into the Flash animations category.

Most Flash ads were automatically converted to HTML5 in GoogleAds beginning in February. However, there are specific scenarios where they are not.

Our HTML5/Responsive Solutions

We at ResponsiveAds are quite happy as we pre-empted this double whammy by creating a platform to support both HTML5 and Responsive strategies. ResponsiveAds’ technology is fully compliant with HTML5 to run on Google AdWords.

HTML5 specifications were key to our creation of a next-generation ad tech platform. As time passes and we see the evolution of HTML 6, 7, 8, etc., they will all lead to the next generations of advertising that we see as a roll-up into an all-fitting, dynamic responsive to screen, user and context-based ad unit.

Visit to create your rich media HTML5 Responsive Ads using our self-serve cloud web app, Narrator Studio, which uses STRETCH technology so you can easily create and deploy ads that stretch fluidly across all screen sizes with just one tag.

If you have any questions about the changes by Google and/or our solutions, please contact us today.

Have you switched from Flash to HTML5? Have you run into any glitches? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.


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Cross-Device Tracking Will Expand Mobile Advertising, hence the Responsive Creative

In a recent Media Post article , TheMediaKitchen highlights three very important points.

1) Deriving Larger mobile budgets. The data from cross-device tracking could be the key to finally unlocking advertising spend on mobile devices.

2) More sequential messaging. Cross-device tracking highlights the power of using sequential messaging across devices.

3) Better media mix. Cross-channel attribution credits each advertising channel with a portion of a conversion based on its contribution.

If we take even one step further, the way this data glue can be applied is all in the creative strategy.  We at ResponsiveAds keep driving to this vision.

ResponsiveDaily‘s insight:

This will be one of the most contested discussions in 2014. With all the debate around cookies, privacy, unique identifiers, once the air is cleared, the effects on mobile advertising will be astounding…

See on

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As Developers say open standards will win for HTML5 apps….so we launched Responsive App Canvas(TM)

See on Scoop.itResponsive Advertising

Clearly, everyone and their dog is thinking mobile first these days. But what’s more interesting in the survey is that the majority of developers aren’t looking to iOS or Android to do so.

ResponsiveDaily‘s insight:

Wouldn’t be great that any HTML5 App could now be embedded into an ad so that users can interact in real-time, anyplace, anytime….  Well we launched Responsive App Canvas so that the world of creative developers can start to work deeper with brands and agency on creating more and more "magical" experiences with cross-screen advertising.


Since we launched earlier this week ( we have seen some exciting applications start to get embedded into our STRETCH Ad unit.


Why should you have to click on the ad, then click to download and wait several minutes to experience an app.  We make is so that you do not need to even click-to-download  to start interacting…. you are just there in the app.  In some ways this can become a powerful alert mechanism that can be blended with a "native ad" or even part of a POEM ( Paid, Owned or Earned Media) strategy combined seamlessly.

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Natural Time To Rethink The Banner?

In a great article in the Mediapost,  they highlight some great points around the banner.


1) Think beyond creative

Changing creative standards time and again is not enough, no matter how rich the media is. Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Over the years, we have gone from static banners to animated GIFs, to rich media and high-quality video — and none have moved the engagement needle significantly. Creative isn’t the issue. We have to adjust other levers if we want to see any substantial change to CTRs and engagement rates. We have to start thinking differently about the importance of relevance and placement.


2) Relevance matters most

No matter how beautiful an ad is — how interactive and cool — if it’s not relevant to the consumer in the moment, it’s not going to engage them. Intent is everything. You could be targeting the right demographic in the right DMA at the right time of year — and the audience buy itself could be spot-on — but if the intent isn’t targeted in real-time, relevance is lost.

Targeting must go beyond audience and deeper into context in order to reach customers while they’re in a buying frame of mind. Think about search engine marketing, which captures a user’s search query and surfaces ads that are specific to that query. I saw an ad for Google recently that read: “You know who wants a haircut? People looking for a haircut.” Display advertising can learn something from this kind of intent targeting. The goal is to get so granular with our targeting that advertising becomes helpful rather than irrelevant and irritating.


3) Just try to look natural

Can we agree once and for all that the “golden triangle” is over? Why do we insist on putting ads along the top and down the right margin? It’s not effective. This may be one of the biggest drivers behind the native advertising movement.

Native advertising allows publishers to create advertising unique to their site or platform, so that ads fit seamlessly into the page. The ads often look like publisher content, although the best practice is to clearly identify them as ads. Examples of this include Sponsored Tweets, Sponsored Posts on Facebook and Google AdWords. Publishers like Slate, The Cheezburger Network, Funny or Die and Salon are offering native options, which tend to be unobtrusive and often helpful — or at least, entertaining or intriguing.

This is where advertiser and publisher heads should be, even if they can’t technically go native. Not everyone has resources to create their own platform, but it’s the right path — ads that don’t attempt to disrupt, but fit naturally into the flow of the user experience.

4) Cue the bugle

It may be premature to call the banner dead, but we have to stop using the same tired methods to revive it. No amount of glitter and glitz can make it work — we need to think beyond appearance at the root causes of banner blindness. If we can make display smart and relevant enough to be worth seeing, we can end the problem once and for all.

See on

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New York Times can reinvent its future, The Story-Telling of Snow Fall


“Blame my enteprenurial tendencies, but when I was experiencing Snow Fall, all I could see was stunning brand-advertising opportunities, that went beyond the dumb, commoditized advertising the Times is forced to put on its website. Why not embed a tasteful Land Rover ad or throw in one for Moncler? That is native advertising that actually allows organziations like the Times to live by their ethos and maintain the fidelity of their brand”-  Om Malik


ResponsiveAds comments :

We really see this as an example of where the premium publishers could go to create these holistic story-telling experiences that embed everything in a “native” way.  From content to advertorial to brand integration…   I expect will will see this evolve with conversations and continuing community engagement as the stories progress.


An interesting platform that takes this to a softer more scalable level on a technology side is Circa.   It makes it easy for a community to build around a story.


This is the new shift in premium.

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(Screen) Size Matters: Is Responsive Web Design the Solution for Changing Screen Size Use?

People are increasingly using larger screens at home and work, and more and more people are replacing laptops with tablets. These changes illustrate how important it is for publishers to embrace Responsive Web Design and Responsive Advertising solutions.

According to a report from research firm IDC, sales of desktop and laptop PC computers dropped a dramatic 14 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, following the release of Windows 8. It was only expecting a 7.7 percent drop. We think this study shows that it is key for publishers to implement cross-screen monetization strategies.

“Instead of buying new laptops or desktops, people are buying tablets and smartphones, which serve as good-enough alternatives,” says a report from Business Insider.

Gartner also released its own report focusing on PC sales. It says that overall PC sales dipped 11.2 percent, and the trend of consuming content on smartphones and tablets is increasing.

While consumers are increasingly turning to smartphones and mobile devices, businesses have been utilizing them too, but they have mixed reactions.

According to a report in The Financial Times, “Tablets can cause corporate headaches,” businesses like the idea behind tablets because they’re cheaper than desktops or laptops, but often times they’re too complicated.

A portion of the article reads: “Adapting legacy workforce applications to be accessible from tablets can be very expensive. These need to be much simpler to use and robust – for example, not prone to cutting out if the user is on a train that enters a tunnel or enters a lift.”

Publishers, too, are increasingly switching screen sizes for newsroom and sales force uses.

Randy Parker, managing editor of the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania, recently spoke at America East 2013, a conference of newspaper tech and operations executives. He explained that 14 of his newsroom staffers now have iPads, and most editors and reporters have smartphones. In addition, his photographers are now using Nexus 7-inch tablets.

Kim Wilson, president and publisher of South Bend Tribune, said her sales team takes their iPads on the road with them, it saves them a lot of time, and allows them to pull up information on the road for advertisers.

Mel Taylor, founder of Mel Taylor Media, talked about how he launched after Hurricane Sandy to provide aggregated information to the area. He used WordPress to create the site, and he chose a template that uses Responsive Web Design.

“Although the reduction in shipments was not a surprise, the magnitude of the contraction is both surprising and worrisome,” said David Daoud, IDC research director, Personal Computing, in a news release. “The industry is going through a critical crossroads, and strategic choices will have to be made as to how to compete with the proliferation of alternative devices and remain relevant to the consumer. Vendors will have to revisit their organizational structures and go to market strategies, as well as their supply chain, distribution, and product portfolios in the face of shrinking demand and looming consolidation.”

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