Do Consumers and Marketers Align in Their Advertising Channel Preferences?

October 7, 2020

Kantar Media Ad Preferences Consumers v Marketers Sept2020When it comes to advertising, consumers and advertisers often have very different goals. While advertisers strive to grab even a fragment of the consumer’s attention in an increasingly noisy landscape, consumers are looking to experience various forms of media with the least amount of interruption. A recent report [download page] from Kantar finds that this dichotomy of goals is likely the reason why consumers and advertisers are drawn to different media channels.

Consumers Gravitate Towards Traditional Formats

Although advertisers are investing more and more of their ad dollars in online channels and formats, especially since the start of the pandemic, consumers appear to prefer to see ads through offline channels. The survey of 4,000 global consumers (ages 16-65) shows that they most appreciate cinema ads, with respondents citing fun, entertaining and good quality as strengths of the format.

Considered the least intrusive of all formats, sponsored events is #2 on Kantar’s global ad equity rating. Notably, though, a survey of US consumers from last year found that a majority of respondents saying that sponsorships are at least somewhat influential on their purchase decisions.

Ranking at #4, digital OOH ads might also be considered to be less intrusive than other formats, while trust and relevance play a big part in why consumers prefer print ad formats such as magazines ads (#3) and newspaper ads (#5).

That’s not to say that consumers don’t see value in online formats. Among the online channels that topped the global ad equity rankings for consumers were influencer branded content, podcast ads, streaming TV ads, online display ads and social media story ads.

Marketers Show a Preference for Online Formats

The more than 700 senior marketers surveyed see things differently. Almost all of the marketers’ top 5 formats are digital, with online video ads being their top pick. In fact, video is the digital format experiencing the most growth in the US.

Social media advertising is high on the list of marketers’ preferences as well, with social media news feed ads and social media story ads taking the #3 and #5 rankings, respectively. And, with consumers reporting that streaming TV ads have a positive impact on their buying intentions, it’s no wonder streaming TV ads made the list at #4.

The one exception to marketers’ preference for online formats comes with TV ads. At #2, TV ads remain a favorite with marketers. Consumers also find that TV advertising has some positive attributes such as trustworthiness, quality and relevance. However, they are put off by the repetitiveness of ads.

Global Preference for Media Brands

Consumers and marketers are somewhat more aligned when it comes to their preference for media brands. Brands such as Instagram (#2 and #3, respectively), Google (#4 and #2, respectively) and Twitter (#5 for both) were ranked in the top 5 for both consumers and marketers. However, TikTok ranked #1 for consumers, while YouTube ranked at the top for marketers.

TikTok has yet to feel the full force of advertising, with many advertisers not having plans to use the media channel anytime in the near future. Kantar suggests that the lack of advertisers is the reason why consumers rank it so high. Consumers also feel that the ads on TikTok are more entertaining and innovative than the brand average.

That said, only the biggest and best-established media brands ranked in the top 5 of Kantar’s global brand equity ranking.

  1. Google
  2. Netflix
  3. YouTube
  4. Amazon
  5. Instagram

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 4,000 consumers ages 16-64 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, UK and the US, as well as a global survey of 733 senior marketers.


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