People Still Say Traditional Media Ads Influence Them the Most

December 15, 2017

TV continues to be the single most influential advertising medium for US adults, details Clutch in recent survey results. Six in 10 respondents to Clutch’s survey said that TV ads influence them to make purchases, with print (45%) ads next on the list.

MarketingCharts has conducted its own consumer research in years past on stated purchase influencers, also finding that TV ads hold the most sway. Those studies have also demonstrated that while print ads have narrower reach than some other media, they hold an outsized influence on consumers’ purchases.

Not all traditional media drive purchases, though: out-of-home (31%) and radio/podcast (30%) ads were reported by fewer respondents to be purchase influencers. That may be due to these having more of a branding than direct response intent, though.

Digital advertising also has some influence, according to consumers: more than 4 in 10 said that they’re likely to make a purchase after seeing an online ad (43%) or a social media ad (42%).

MarketingCharts’ research had highlighted social media advertising as moving quickly up the ranks, becoming the second-most influential paid advertising medium among Millennials.

Adults Retain Trust in TV Ads

Advertisers themselves remain stout in their belief that TV ads have the most influence over consumers. One reason? People demonstrate that the most trust for TV and broadcast video ads.

In Clutch’s survey, more than 6 in 10 respondents (61%) said they feel that TV and broadcast video ads are trustworthy. Close behind are print ads, trusted by 58% of respondents.

Global research from Nielsen has also previously found that TV and print ads are the most trusted among paid media.

Other traditional media also outperform digital on this measure: radio/podcast ads are trusted by 45%, while out-of-home ads engender trust from more than 4 in 10. (It’s likely that respondents think more of radio than podcast ads, the latter of which are relatively new.)

Digital ads follow closely: 41% trust online ads, while 38% trust social media advertising.

It’s perhaps not too surprising that social media ranks at the bottom of trust: only a slight majority of people around the world trust social media platforms at all, according to a recent study.

Millennials, Affluents More Trusting of Advertising

Interestingly, older adults are more skeptical of advertising than their younger counterparts: 55% of Millennials and 53% of Gen Xers reported trusting ads, compared to fewer than half (44%) of Baby Boomers.

Millennials were also the most likely to say that advertising influences their purchases: 64% said that about TV and print (versus 54% of BabyBoomers), while 51% agreed with respect to online and social media (versus 27% of Baby Boomers).

In each case, Gen Xers were far much closer to Millennials than to Boomers in their perceptions. Earlier research from YouGov has suggested that Gen Xers (35-54) are the most trusting of ads.

In an apparent contradiction with YouGov’s report, this latest survey from Clutch finds that affluents have a more favorable outlook to advertising than their lower-income counterparts. Affluents ($100k+) – who profile as heavy media consumers – were considerably more likely than respondents below that age bracket to report influence from TV, print, and digital ads. They were also more likely to report trusting ads, particularly those found online and on social media.

The full results of Clutch’s research, which is based on a survey of 1,030 adults, can be found here.


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