Adalytics Audience Research Study

✅ How can you help?

You can bring transparency into the advertising industry! Together, we are trying to figure out how much your attention is worth on the internet. We have a small favor to ask for:

  • Fill out the online data & privacy consent form ( 👉 form link here 👈) that gives Adalytics permission to track your ads data, send you a survey form, and use the (anonymized) survey responses to write a blog post and for ad tech research.
  • Make sure Adalytics is installed on your laptop/desktop browser, that you are logged in, and that ad data is being collected. You can do this by opening your favorite news website, waiting for ads to load, and verifying that the extension logs those ads successfully. Note: obviously, the extension will not collect any ads if you have an Adblock filter enabled on that specific browser instance.
  • Try to collect ad data - you can do this as part of your regular routine while browsing news sites.
  • After a sufficient sample of data has been collected, you will get a survey via email. The survey will contain personalized questions based on which ads you were targeted with (i.e. if you were shown Nike ads, while another user was shown Adidas ads, you will each receive different survey questions).

🤔 What's in it for you?

Adalytics tracks what ads you are shown and has a dashboard that lets you see which brands have targeted you most with ads. Find out who brands think you are, and who values your attention the most. In some cases, you will even see how much advertisers are paying for your attention. Once the study finishes and Adalytics publishes a research blog post, you can also get a feel for how your ad persona compares to other Adalytics users.

🤝 How you are helping - the "why?"

You can help bring transparency into the online advertising industry.

Digital advertising is a $356 billion industry that underpins the modern internet. Many social media platforms, journalistic outlets, and bloggers derive the majority of their funding through ads. Yet the advertising eco-system lacks transparency and audibility - digital advertising tech has been used for military and police surveillance, for funding sanctioned foreign military units, and/or for targeting consumers with scams & malware.

Adalytics is working towards introducing transparency in the digital marketing eco-system through crowd-sourced ad data. By participating in this proof-of-concept study, you are helping take the first steps towards building a better internet.

💡 Background & motivation

One of the long term goals of Adalytics is to enable crowd-sourced audience research studies about the effectiveness of paid digital advertising. Even if a brand is able to make sure its ads are shown to real humans (as opposed to bots or tail-end publishers committing ad fraud), it is not always clear if a consumer remembered seeing a given ad, understood the advertiser's product/service, and whether the ad improved the consumer's perception of a brand. Companies like Nielsen, Comscore, Kantar, Qualtrics, and Kantar already perform consumer research studies, but they cannot provide a degree of 'ground-truth' that tells marketers whether a consumer saw or did not see their ad. Adalytics will help introduce transparency into the ad-tech ecosystem by allowing both consumers and marketers to better understand which ads grab people's attention. A previous Adalytics study noted how an infamous 'butt-flap onesie' was able to draw so much attention, that consumers were Tweeting about the ad creative and journalists were writing stories about it.

The goal of this small scale pilot study is to get a handful of volunteers to record their data, and then answer some personalized survey questions based on which ads were shown to them. The study will be small in size and not statistically representative; the goal here is to merely demonstrate a proof-of-concept for the Adalytics methodology.

🔎 The study methodology

Each Adalytics user ("volunteer" or "panelist") will be asked to fill out a data & privacy consent form. Next, each user will be asked to make sure they are signed in on the Adalytics browser extension on your personal computer. We ask that each user try to visit (and scroll) on some ad hosting websites (like,,, or whatever is your go to news, sports, or entertainment source). Adalytics will track who is targeting each user with ads via Linkedin, Twitter, or open web display banner ads. The data will be stored in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center located in Virgnia, USA. Users can request to access their data or have it deleted by emailing (will respond within 30 days).

After enough data has been collected for a given user, the user will receive a personalized survey via email with ad recall and effectiveness questions. This survey should take at most 2 minutes to complete.

Adalytics will analyze the data and use it to audit ad targeting. Adalytics will publish blog posts to demonstrate the proof-of-concept of using crowd-sourced ad data for auditing.

👉 Consent form link here 👈