The Disguised Banner

Only visible to people with Ad blockers


In Sweden 25 percent of the online audience are using ad blockers. Most of them have decided to opt out because they feel that banners interfere with their online experience. This is an increasing challenge for UNICEF and other NGO’s that need to get their important messages into people’s minds.


To highlight our campaign online and get people to sign a petition on children’s right to complain when their rights are being violated.


We decided to turn the limitations of online marketing (people using ad blockers) to an advantage (develop a unique and relevant message for just this group).


We made a disguised banner, perceived as editorial content to ad blocker’s. And only visible to people who had opted out. Our banner was stripped of video, sound, animation and tracking scripts that could appear suspicious to the ad blocker. Then we directed our banner to people who had ad blocker software installed. In people's ad free environment, we delivered a simple message that earned it’s space: “Children’s rights should never be blocked. Sign up for children’s rights to complain.”


A click through rate of 3 percent throughout the period amongst unique visitors, 300 percent higher than an ordinary CTR for a text based banner. When on the UNICEF campaign site, the conversion rate was 10 percent which also is remarkably high. At the end of the campaign 10 000 people signed up for children’s right to complain and Wall Street Journal named The Disguised Banner for UNICEF Sweden as one of the best campaigns of the year. We visited the ad free environment with a message to important to block – and people who had said no to ads, said yes and got engaged.