57% of Americans who watch TV say they always notice advertising on the medium, while a further 40% say they sometimes notice ads, according to survey results released in February 2012 by BrandSpark International in partnership with Better Homes and Gardens. Magazines are next, with 30% of readers always noticing ads in this medium, and an additional 56% noticing them sometimes.
This means that consumers who watch TV and read magazines are more apt to notice ads than internet users: just one-quarter of internet users said they always noticed ads on the internet, while 17% said they never did.
Traditional Media Outperform Digital Channels
Americans engaged in a variety of traditional media are also more likely to take note of ads than those engaged in digital media channels. For example, among users of these media, 82% always or sometimes notice ads in direct mail, with outdoor ads (80%), radio (79%), paid daily newspapers (74%) not far behind. By contrast, just 71% of search engine users notice ads on that channel.
Additionally, consumers reading community newspapers are more likely than consumers using social networks to notice ads in their respective media (71% vs. 66%). Users are also more likely to notice transit ads (such as on buses, streetcars, and trains) and free daily newspapers ads (both at 66%) than ads in online editorials or blogs (55%).
Women More Apt to Notice Traditional Ads
Data from the “2012 American Shopper Study” indicates that among users of various media, women are more likely than men to notice ads, but most often in traditional media. The largest discrepancy is in magazines, with 88% of women who read magazines saying they often notice advertising in the medium (giving it a top 2 box score), compared to 80% of men. There is also a significant divergence for direct mail (84% of female users vs. 78% of male users), although the gaps are narrower for outdoor ads (81% vs. 79%), paid daily newspapers (75% vs. 73%), and online editorial/blogs (55% vs. 52%).
Youth Pay More Attention to Digital Ads
Among age groups, internet users aged 18-24 were far more likely than those aged 65 and older to notice ads in the medium (91% vs. 69%), a trend that followed for users of search engines (76% vs. 52%), social networks (80% vs. 41%), and online editorial/blogs (70% vs. 32%).
50-64-year-old users had the highest rate of engagement with ads in magazines (89%), direct mail (86%), and paid daily newspapers.
About the Data: The BrandSpark study surveyed close to 130,000 shoppers in North America. The sample size for the select questions about ads in various media was 3,057.