Why Consumers Ignore Most Media Ads

Although the digital space is considered to be a great place to target and reach consumers, when adults were asked which type of ads they tend to ignore or disregard the most, over six in ten say Internet ads (63%). 

Among those who ignore Internet ads, two in five say they ignore banner ads (43%) the most and one in five say they ignore search engine ads (20%) the most. 

Smaller percentages say they ignore television ads (14%), radio ads (7%) and newspaper ads (6%); just 9% of Americans say they don’t ignore any of the listed types of ads.

[ Also Read: Newspapers, TV on Deathbed; Online in Baby Bed ]

These are some of the findings of a new Adweek Media/ Harris Poll, survey of 2,098 U.S. adults surveyed online between Oct. 5 and 7, 2010 by Harris Interactive. The survey results were released today, Dec. 3.

In another recent Adweek Media/Harris Poll, three-quarters of Americans (75%) said they have found a commercial on TV confusing.

Even when a commercial on television ends, there is still uncertainty about exactly what product or service that commercial was selling, consumers say. (Read: Tell me God What This Ad is Trying to Do)

Consumers feel that online ads are more annoying and ill-constructed while TV and print advertising is entertaining and relevant for them.

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Of more than 1,200 people surveyed for digital marketing show ad:tech London by Zussi Research, 69 per cent believed traditional advertising was relevant to them, compared with 45 per cent for online.

For the TV generation of those aged between 25-34-years old the gap widens further: 81 per cent (traditional) versus 53 per cent (online). (Read: Why Web Users Hate Online Ads)

In the emerging media space, mobile ads are still going without any systematic impact measurement rules.

To standardize key metrics for the mobile interactive industry for the first time ever, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) have released “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” for public comment. (Read: How to Measure the Impact of Mobile Ads)

[ Also Read: How to Measure ROI on Social Media Marketing ]

While we know that certain advertising themes appeal to men and women differently, there is little difference in the ads that men and women say they tend to ignore the most.

Two in five of both men (42%) and women (45%) say they ignore Internet banner ads the most, one in five say they ignore Internet search engine ads (20% and 21% respectively), while somewhat fewer say so about television ads (15% and 13%), radio ads (7% and 8%), and newspaper ads (6% and 5%), according to the new Adweek Media/Harris Poll.

[ Also Read: What Social Networkers Say about Your Brands ]

While there are few gender differences, there are interesting variations when this question is looked at by age. Older Americans say they ignore ads on TV the most — one in five of those 55 years and older say they ignore TV ads (20%), compared to 14% of those 45-54 years, 13% of those 35-44 years, and just 9% of those 18-34 years. 

Conversely, younger Americans are more likely than those older to ignore radio ads the most (11% of those 18-34 years do, compared to 6% of those 55 years and older).

[ Also Read: Finalists for Interactive Advertising, Marketing Awards ]

Also, while over two in five in all age groups say they ignore Internet banner ads the most, those aged 35-44 are most likely to say this, as almost half ignore these ads (47%) compared to between 42% and 43% of the other age groups.

Those who have more education are more likely to ignore online advertisements — 46% of both those who have some college and those who are college graduates say they ignore banner ads, compared to just 40% of those who have a high school degree or less. 

One-quarter (23%) of those who have graduated from college say they ignore search engine ads, compared to 17% who have a high school or less education.

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Those with a high school or less education, however, are more likely to ignore television ads (17% versus 12% of those who have gone to college).

Although almost all Americans say they ignore some ads (91%), this does not mean it’s a lost cause for advertisers, suggests Harris Interactive. 

Rather, it says, companies looking to effectively reach consumers may just need to educate themselves and tailor their messages – as well as their chosen medium – to best appeal to the desired group.

Photo courtesy: ad:tech

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