Consumers Say They Trust Traditional Media Ads More Than Digital Ones

December 14, 2016

Online pop-ups continue their reign as the most disdained form of advertising, it seems. In a new study [download page], MarketingSherpa reports that just one-quarter of consumers trust pop-ups, making them the least trusted type of ad. That finding follows separate research from HubSpot indicating that pop-ups are the most widely disliked ad type. By comparison, traditional media ads seem quite trusted for purchase decisions.

The HubSpot survey results demonstrated that print and TV ads are among the least disliked types, and the MarketingSherpa study likewise indicates that consumers place their trust in these ads when making purchase decisions.

Indeed, at least 8 in 10 consumers said they generally trust print (82%) and TV (80%) ads more when they want to make a purchase decision. Direct mail (76%), radio ads (71%) and out-of-home ads (69%) rounded out the top 5, such that traditional media ads took the top 5 formats by trustworthiness.

Consumers also believe that traditional advertising influences their purchase decisions, according to MarketingCharts’ own primary research. In surveying more than 2,000 consumers, MarketingCharts found that TV ads had influenced a purchase for more respondents than any other paid medium. Meanwhile, print ads showed significantly high levels of influence relative to the amount of exposure that consumers reported to those ads.

The MarketingSherpa survey results also suggest that consumers will frequently interact with traditional media ads from companies with which they’re satisfied. Around half or more will often or always watch these companies’ TV ads, subscribe to their emails (50%), read their print ads received in the mail (50%), and read their print ads from the store (48%).

That doesn’t mean that traditional media ads are immune to being ignored. Although satisfied customers most commonly will frequently disengage with companies’ marketing by skipping online pre-roll ads (43%), many will also frequently disengage by ignoring their print ads (35%), discarding their print ads or catalogs (34%), or muting, skipping or turning the channel (34%).

Many will also block online ads, primarily because they dislike large ads that pop up over the entire webpage, because they make the webpages load too slow, and because they find rollover ads to be intrusive.

About the Data: In September and October 2016, MarketingSherpa sampled 2,400 US adults (18+, weighted to reflect a close match to the U.S. population. Half completed a survey about their experiences with a brand with which they were highly satisfied, and half completed a survey about their experiences with a brand with which they were not satisfied.


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