People Say Humorous, Informative Ads Hold the Most Appeal

February 23, 2018

Ads that are humorous and from trustworthy brands are most likely to be considered enjoyable and memorable, Clutch has found in a survey of 1,030 US adults. Relevant and informative creative also resonates, per respondents, who said that ads that don’t inform are their most disliked.

It’s not too surprising that humor would be the most appealing element, given that the survey asked about enjoyable and memorable ads. Yet other research has also found people across age groups saying that ads that make them laugh are also the most likely to attract their attention.

But humor alone might not be enough. An Ace Metrix study released a few years ago revealed that funny TV ads correlate strongly with likability, but not with purchase intent. A more recent Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX) study found that ad likability did not correlate well with brand linkage or messaging.

It seems that a combination of humor, relevance and informativeness would appeal more. While informativeness wasn’t one of the top elements of an enjoyable or memorable ad in these respondents’ eyes, there are other indications that people want content from brands (and their emails) to be informative.

Moreover, the leading reason why people dislike ads is if they’re not informative, per Clutch’s research, with unrelatable/unrealistic advertising also generally disliked.

TV Remains the Preferred Advertising Medium

Separately, the Clutch survey asked respondents which advertising medium they prefer, with TV easily coming out on top, cited by 58% share of respondents. That was more than 4 times as many respondents as the next-most preferred type, online ads (13%).

In fact, almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they remember TV ads more than any other medium.

Previous survey results from Clutch indicate that TV ads are considered by people to be both the most trustworthy and the most influential. And while digital advertising has overtaken TV advertising in size, advertisers themselves still believe that TV ads offer the most impact.

Meanwhile, among those respondents who said that digital ads are their preferred type, Facebook ads emerged as the leader over banners, video, and Google search.

The full results can be found here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,030 US consumers who had seen or heard an advertisement in the past week. Some 55% of respondents are female and 40% ages 35-54.

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