How Effective Do Consumers Find Social Cues in Advertising?

BurstMedia-Effectiveness-Ads-Prompting-Social-Interactions-With-Brands-May2013Some consumers are noticing brands’ attempts to promote their social presences in advertising, with some media channels more likely to elicit a response than others, according to [pdf] results from a Burst Media survey of more than 2,500 US online adults. Respondents reported being most likely to notice brand-related social accounts in online banner ads (27.2%), but a relatively high number also notice them in TV (24.1%) and print (21.1%) ads. Among those who recall brands promoting their social assets in digital ads, about 6 in 10 say the efforts are very (29.4%) or somewhat (31.6%) effective in prompting social interaction with those brands. A similar percentage (58.7%) feel the same way about social cues in TV ads.

Combining the percentage who recall social cues in ads with the percentage who find them effective yields a relative assessment of the effectiveness of different advertising media in prompting social interaction with brands. In descending order of effectiveness, the media are ranked as follows:

  • Digital ads – with 16.6% of respondents overall noticing cues in these ads and finding them effective in prompting social interaction with brands (27.2% noticing * 60.9% finding them very or somewhat effective);
  • TV ads – with 14.1% of respondents noticing the social cues and finding them effective (24.1% * 58.7%);
  • Print ads – with 11.1% noticing the cues and finding them effective (21.2% * 52.4%);
  • Radio ads – with 4.7% noticing cues and believing them to be effective (11.4% * 41.5%); and
  • Outdoor ads – with 3.7% recalling cues and finding them effective (9.5% * 39.4%).

Overall, 54.2% of female respondents and 48.6% of male respondents have performed some sort of brand-related social sharing activity as a result of seeing something on or in an ad. The study notes that such activity could include “liking a brand’s Facebook page, using a brand’s Twitter hashtag and/or posting a brand-related picture to Instagram.” Some demographic segments are more active than others in response to social cues in ads. They are: women aged 35-44 (65.3%); respondents aged 18-34 (56.9%); and men aged 18-24 (59.8%).

Other Findings:

  • Respondents aged 18-34 are especially more likely to see online ads (67.6%) than TV ads (60.6%) as effective in driving social interactions (among those who recall seeing brands’ social cues in those ads).
  • Women aged 18-34 are the most likely to see online ads as effective in this regard (73.9%), with fewer finding TV ads to be effective (59.1%).

About the Data: Burst Media conducted its survey in March 2013.