The latest Netflix campaign targets ad-blocking software users
Netflix came up with an original way to promote its show ‘Black Mirror.’ By serving a banner created exclusively for and delivered only to ad-blocking software users, Netflix draws attention to its own production. ‘You cannot see the ad. But the ad can see you’ reads the message displayed in Netflix’s latest campaign, which is running on several globally popular tech websites.
But the question that is on everyone's mind is how Netflix managed to bypass the ad-blocking software algorithms and how it is possible to deliver these ads only to users who have installed software precisely to avoid seeing them. Gemius checked the campaign mechanism and explained how it works:
‘The Netflix banner is hosted directly on the websites – more specifically, it is part of the background. It is displayed using the Canvas format, a format that delivers a full-page ad without being intrusive for users. The ad is delivered behind the article, reserving two areas above and below the article for the ad to be fully visible. The website simulates the behavior of an internal ad server and, after failing to successfully execute, draws the conclusion that the user has ad-blocking software installed. Once the user is positively identified, the background is changed to display the Netflix banner. Each impression is counted by a tracking script on the ad server, so it’s measured in the same way most online advertising campaigns are,’ explains Cristian Sosu, Tech Specialist, Gemius Romania and Moldova.
Netflix's campaign is not meant to be a warning to users using ad-blocking software, but its message fits perfectly with the main premise of "Black Mirror," that technological evolution does not always bring the expected results.
‘Netflix has recently become a global service and this campaign runs on global websites. "Black Mirror" has many viewers who are what we fondly call "geeks," just as the readers of these sites are, and they are exactly the category that forms a large part of the users of ad-blocking software.
What caught our attention is the excellent blend of efficient campaign strategy and simple but clever technical implementation,’ notes Victor Avram, Country Manager, Gemius Romania and Moldova.