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More than one-third of Americans (37%) say that TV ads are most helpful to them in making a purchase decision, while nearly half say they ignore internet banner ads, according to (pdf) a poll from AdWeekMedia and Harris Interactive.

In terms of the helpfulness of ads in other media, newspapers rank second behind TV, with 17% reporting that newspaper ads are most helpful, while 14% say the same about internet search-engine ads:

harris-poll-adweek-media-most-helpful-ads-june-2009.jpg

At the other end of the spectrum, Radio ads (3%) and internet banner ads (1%) are not considered helpful by many people. The poll found also that more than one fourth (28%) of Americans say that none of these types of advertisements are helpful to them in the purchase-decision-making process.

Not surprisingly, the types of ads Americans find helpful vary by age and, slightly, by region:

  • 50% of people ages 18-34 find TV ads most helpful.
  • 31% of those ages 55+ say newspaper ads are most helpful.
  • 40% of Southerners find TV ads most helpful, while only one-third (33%) of Midwesterners feel the same.

Banner Ads Most Ignored
Almost half of Americans (46%) say they ignore internet banner ads, according to the study. Much further down the list of ignored items are internet search engine ads (17% of people ignore), television ads (13%), radio ads (9%), and newspaper ads (6%):

harris-poll-adweek-media-most-helpful-ads-june-20091.jpg

One in ten Americans (9%) say they do not ignore any of these types of ads.

Age and regional differences:

  • 50% of those ages 35-44 and 51% of Midwesterners say they ignore Internet banner ads compared with 43% of 18-34 year olds as well as Easterners and Southerners.
  • 20% of Americans 18-34 years old (20%) say they ignore Internet search engine ads while 20% of those ages 55+ ignore TV ads.

Harris Interactive suggestes that these findings are important because, despite online video and the ability to use a DVR to shift live programming, TV ads remain most helpful to consumers. Conversely, while an internet strategy is essential for a comprehensive ad campaign, banner ads are only considered helpful by a few and are ignored the most, the polling fiirm said.

About the survey: The AdweekMedia/The Harris Poll was conducted online in the US from June 4-8, 2009 among 2,521 adults (ages 18+). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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