Commercials Have Confused 3 in 4 Americans

September 24, 2010

Three-quarters of Americans (75%) say they have found a commercial on TV confusing, according to the results of a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll.

2 in 10 Americans Often Confused by Commercials
Eighty-nine percent of Americans overall watch TV commercials. In addition to 75% of Americans having ever found a TV commercial confusing, 21% often do so. However, while just 14% say they never find commercials on television confusing, 55% say they do not find commercials confusing very often, and 11% do not watch commercials on TV.


Age is Generally Small Factor
Age mostly plays a small role in how confusing these commercials appear to people. Percentages of Americans who have ever found commercials confusing are virtually identical across all age brackets.

The one significant difference related to age is that 29% of people 55 years or older say they often find the commercials on television confusing. The number drops for younger Americans, as 17% of those 45-54 years old often find commercials confusing, as do 18% of those 18-34 years old and 13% of those 35-44.

Those 55 and older are also slightly less likely to say they never find commercials confusing (10%) and slightly more likely to say they do not watch commercials on television (13%).

Differences by Education Minor
Looking at levels of confusion by education there still is not much of a difference. Three-quarters of those who have an education level of high school or less (75%), those who have some college education (76%) and those who have a college degree or post graduate education (76%) say they have found commercials on TV to be confusing.

And, one in five with an education level of high school or less (21%), those who have completed some college (22%) and college graduates (19%), often find commercials on television to be confusing.

TV Viewers Watch Commercials
Despite relatively high levels of confusion, most American TV viewers tend to stay in the room and keep watching when a commercial airs, according to a recent study from the Council for Research Excellence.

The Video Consumer Mapping (VCM) study sponsored by the Council for Research Excellence indicates that TV advertising and program promotions reach 85% of adults daily. Viewers typically see 26 advertising or promotional breaks, at an average of two minutes and 46 seconds per break, accounting for 73 minutes each day.

About the Data: This Adweek Media/Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between July 27-29, 2010 among 2,163 adults (aged 18 and up). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.


Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This