3 in 4 People Feel They’re Seeing More Ads Now. How to Break Through the Clutter?

February 7, 2018

People around the world seem to be developing more negative than positive reactions to the evolution of advertising over the past few years, according to a review of results from Kantar Millward Brown’s latest AdReaction study. There’s a sense that people are being bombarded with advertising: 8 in 10 agree that ads are appearing in more places, and about 3 in 4 feel that they’re seeing more advertising now.

On the positive side, about half feel that ads are telling better stories, although fewer feel that way in the US (41%).

Intrusive Ads?

While about 6 in 10 survey respondents globally feel that ads now fit together better across different formats, about 7 in 10 feel that ads are more intrusive now.

Perhaps as a result, people seem most receptive to traditional media ads, potentially due to conditioning or due a less interruptive nature than their digital counterparts.

For example, respondents globally expressed the most receptivity to the following formats: magazines (53%), outdoor (53%), TV (52%), newspapers (51%) and cinema (51%). By contrast, online display and video lagged at roughly one-third or fewer respondents.

Within the US, leading formats by receptivity include cinema (49%), outdoor (46%), TV (44%), magazine (44%), newspaper (43%) and radio (39%), all traditional media.

Fewer in the US display a receptiveness towards digital formats including online search (27%), display on PC (25%), video (25%) and display on a mobile device (24%).

The results are supported by separate research which likewise has found people tolerating traditional media ads more than digital ones.

Targeting to Blame?

With a healthy majority of respondents believing that ads are more intrusive now, it’s instructive to learn about their experiences with online targeting. And once again negative perceptions outweigh positive ones.

Globally, people recall seeing ads too many times online (28%) as well as seeing ads for items they had already purchased (19%). Moreover, people were more likely to feel that they were being stalked (14%) than to say that ads were helpful in the precise moment they were delivered (8%) or helpful in a precise location (8%).

Finally, respondents were as likely to say that ads were not relevant (21%) as they were to say that they were personalized to their interests (22%).

Multichannel Advertising Best Practices

People’s generally positive outlook about multichannel advertising (6 in 10 feeling ads fit together better nowadays) is also tempered by some negative perceptions. While some view multichannel advertising as a reminder of the brand (27%) and believe that it leaves a stronger impression (20%), a sizable portion also consider it irritating (28%).

The report offers some ideas that can help leverage the positive aspects of multichannel advertising – brand recognition and impressions.

Globally, respondents believe that the most helpful elements to link ads across formats are the logo (41%), slogan (32%) and message (31%), with US respondents largely in agreement on these elements, despite favoring messages over slogans.

Digging into its own database, Kantar Millward Brown reveals that the consistent use of certain elements are more helpful in linking together content: celebrity; hashtag; voiceover artist; brand personality; website address; and music.

A central idea is also paramount to consistency across touch points of a campaign, with image cues and associations particularly important.

Effectiveness learning from the firm’s database also reveals that TV and online video are the formats that most need to fit with other content, and also benefit the most from integration. As TV and online video go, simply repurposing creative is probably not enough.

People feel most strongly that brands should customize online video content so that it is shorter than TV ads, or if not, so that it is the same length but a different edit.

Meanwhile, Kantar Millward Brown’s database indicates that the strongest performers are online video ads that are customized to be the same length as TV ads but with a different edit.

Other customizations that over-index the average in effectiveness include video ads that are shorter than TV and those that show the brand earlier in the ad.

More results from the report are available here.

About the Data: Kantar Millward Brown’s survey results are based on 14,500 interviews conducted with 16-65 year olds August-November 2017 in 45 countries (at least 300 per country). Fieldwork commissioned via Lightspeed. Results in the report are global averages across the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada (English & French), Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, KSA, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, US, Vietnam.

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