AdBlock launches crowdfunding campaign to create ads about blocking ads

The popular AdBlock extension is fighting fire with fire to spread the word to people unaware of its website-killing power.

Prepare to have your mind blown: This weekend, the creator of the popular AdBlock software--which kills the ads you'd normally see while trawling the Web--launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for ads encouraging people to use AdBlock and block Internet ads.

Whoa.

As brain-bending as the concept sounds, AdBlock isn't dreaming small. The US$25,000 minimum fundraising goal will oh-so-ironically go towards the creation of banner ads to spam the AdBlock ethos, and AdBlock founder Michael Gundlach promises to spread the word via a Times Square billboard if the donations hit $50,000, or a full-page ad in the New York Times if the campaign raises $150,000.

If the crowdfunding really takes off, AdBlock has the white whale of advertising in its sights: At $4.2 million in donations (ha!), Gundlach says he'll buy an AdBlock TV commercial during the 2014 Super Bowl.

AdBlock recently started bugging users of its extension with ads about its campaign to create ads about blocking ads, in yet another bout of delicious hyprocrisy. Here's what the campaign page says about fighting fire with fire:

We're going to use ads to get rid of ads. We will use the money raised to make AdBlock banner ads and video commercials, and we will show these across the internet to people who don't have AdBlock. If we raise enough, we will implement our craziest advertising ideas and capture the whole world's imagination.

With ads about blocking ads. Welcome to the Matrix!

Ad-blocking or site-killing?

While ad-blocking technology is indeed highly handy-dandy and borders on necessity on some of the most annoying pages on the Web, it's not without its share of critics. A large swathe of the Web--PCWorld.com and TechHive.com included--relies on advertising to monetize content provided free of charge to readers, and ad-killing software such as AdBlock deprive websites of that revenue. Penny Arcade's Ben Kuchera recently wrote a superb article detailing just how harmful ad-blocking software is to websites.

Simply put, without ads, many Websites couldn't exist. Creating quality content costs money, and a truly ad-free web would be a mostly empty web.

Is there a middle ground? AdBlock rival AdBlock Plus whitelists ads that don't scream at you or autoplay or steal your browser's focus, which seems like a reasonable compromise. Some people manually whitelist the majority of the Web, blocking only sites that betray their trust with obnoxious selling attempts.

Attempts to offer ad-free content behind a paywall, meanwhile, have seen hit-and-miss success. While Netizens hate ads, few seem willing to pay to remove them.

But in a bout of irony so hard that it hurts, people are tripping over themselves to fund ads about blocking ads. AdBlock has managed to raise more than $22,000 of its $25,000 minimum goal in just a couple of days, with 28 days of fundraising left. One thing's for certain: It's going to be interesting to see where AdBlock's ad campaign goes, and what--if anything--it accomplishes.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Getting your business ready for the Entrepreneurial Consumer

We all know the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands, and that a lot of businesses are finding it hard to catch up. One way to closing this brand gap is to understand consumer behaviour and build a brand experience that meets these new needs.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Brand management starts with management

As the world continues to grow and evolve, it’s more important than ever to build a strong brand that articulates your message clearly and consistently, stands out against the noise, and develops relevance with the people that matter. This makes managing your brand a key component to gaining cut-through and ultimately business success.

Dan Ratner

managing director, Uberbrand

Disrupting marketing as we know it

Call it digital disruption or the fourth industrial revolution, our rapidly evolving environment is affecting consumer perceptions, purchase behaviours and the way they consume information and products.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Very well said “With today’s consumers more demanding of the brands and merchants they shop, it’s imperative for merchants to not just co...

Masterarts

CMO's top 10 martech stories for this week - 29 September

Read more

Very interesting article which touches on the importance of a feedback loop fuelled by customer and market insights. Ideally this scenari...

Andrew Reid

Building customer insights in the data and digital age

Read more

Very very good piece- very novel and innovative and very possibly- effective - way to look at one's communication headlines!

Patrick Dsouza

Should your disclaimer become your headline? - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Excellent post Rob, Mobile app users are growing day by day. Everyday lots of apps are launched in the market but not every app retains t...

Marcus Miller

Why app engagement must be personalised - Mobile strategy - CMO Australia

Read more

very informative blog. I really like the information given in this blog.http://gng.com.au/

Gajanand Choudhary

The evolving role of the CMO - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in