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tvb-most-influential-ad-medium-purchase-decisions-june2012.pngWhen it comes to the advertising medium they find most influential in making a purchase decision, American adults are far more likely to point to TV (37.2%) than any other, including newspapers (10.6%), the internet (5.6%), and magazines (4.4%), per results from a TVB study released in June 2012. This result aligns with April research from ExactTarget, which analyzed the attitudes of online consumers to various advertising media, finding 53% reporting that a TV ad had influenced them to purchase a product or service in the past 12 months, a far larger proportion than could say the same about newspaper ads (32%) and magazine ads (30%).

TV Leads Across All Age Groups; Influence Wanes With Age

tvb-most-influential-ad-medium-by-age-june2012.pngData from TVB’s “Media Comparisons 2012” indicates that a plurality of respondents across all age groups believe that TV influences their purchase decisions the most. Interestingly, 18-34-year-olds are the most likely to report this (40.8%), with TV’s influence declining with age, to 36.5% of 35-64-year-olds and 32.7% of those aged 65 and older. The ExactTarget survey results (see link above) paint a similar picture, with TV ads losing their influence among the older groups.

By contrast, the influence of newspapers rises with age: while just 3.2% of 18-34-year-olds responding to the TVB survey say that newspapers hold the greatest sway over their purchase decisions, that proportion rises to 12.3% among 35-64-year-olds, and 18.5% among those 65 and older. Somewhat predictably, the influence of ads served online is far more prevalent among 18-34-year-olds than the oldest group (7.4% vs. 2.9%).

TV Commercials Also Chief Product Info Source

The TVB survey finds that not only does TV serve as a purchase influence, it is also a key source of information about products. 39.8% of the respondents said that TV is the source they are most likely to learn from about products and brands they would like to try or buy. The internet (8.7%) was next, followed by newspapers (8%) and magazines (6.8%). Almost one-quarter of the respondents were unsure.

Other Findings:

  • Roughly 7 in 10 adults report ownership of an HDTV set.
  • 48.3% of respondents aged 18-34 say they notice when a commercial on an HD channels is not shown in HD format. This decreases to 35.4% of 35-64-year-olds and 29.4% of those 65 and older. Of note, according to a study released in February 2012 by DG and Kantar Media, TV ads aired in high definition (HD) outperform their standard definition (SD) counterparts in terms of audience retention by 18.4%.
  • Per the TVB report, 51% of adults say a TV ad has prompted them to go online to find out more.
  • 61% of the respondents report being members of a social networking site. Just 6.8% of those say they have made a purchase decision based on information from a social network.

About the Data: The TVB Media Comparisons Study was fielded in Q1 2012 and conducted by Knowledge Networks, utilizing their “Knowledge Panel.” There were 1,557 respondents in total: 1,433 are adults (aged 18 and older), and the remaining 124 are aged 13-17.

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