What Makes For a Relevant Ad?

June 18, 2020

DISQO Top Element Relevant Ad Jun2020Some 8 in 10 (81%) consumers agree that they want to see ads that are relevant to them, but just 54% claim to see such relevant ads, per a new report [download page] from DISQO. While sentiment toward relevant ads is highly positive among respondents overall, some age gaps emerge in the percentage of consumers who report actually seeing them.

In the survey of about 1,000 DISQO audience members, 43% strongly agreed that they want to see ads relevant to them, with a further 38% agreeing. This positive sentiment is present among all age groups; with the exception of 65-to-74-year-olds (72%), the share of each age group wanting to see relevant ads ranged between 83% and 88%.

However, respondents are possibly seeing less relevant ads than they would like, a finding that again applies to each age group surveyed. Overall, slightly more than half (54%) agree that they tend to see relevant ads, with the highest proportion being among 18-24-year-olds (60%) and the lowest among 65-74-year-olds (41%).

The general decline in the tendency to report seeing relevant ads among older respondents indicates a potential missed opportunity for advertisers – previous research has found that Boomers and Silents (those aged 55+) spend the most per transaction, with the spending power of Boomers far outweighing those of other generations. That said, older consumers spend more time watching traditional TV and are potentially less likely to interact with relevant online ads than their younger counterparts.

So, what makes for a relevant ad, according to consumers? Far more than any other option, 42% share say that a relevant ad is one of interest to them. One-quarter (24%) chose the option that relevant ads satisfy a need, while fewer think that the biggest factor determining relevant ads are that they are relatable (14%), satisfy a want (12%) or are usable (11%).

With these specific factors in mind, respondents indicate that they are not seeing their ideal ads. Only half report having recently seen ads that are relevant to their interests, while 45% reported seeing ads relevant to their needs. What’s more, fewer than one-third (29%) of those aged 65 to 74 consider the ads they’ve seen recently to be relevant to their interests, and the same goes for a similar proportion (27%) of those aged 75+.

Some 8 in 10 (81%) respondents feel positive (51%) or extremely positive (30%) when they see a relevant ad, with just 3% feeling negative in any way toward seeing them. However, this sentiment toward ad relevance may not extend to explicitly targeted ads – earlier data from YouGov found that consumers are more likely to see targeted ads as an inappropriate use of personal data than as a convenience.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 999 US consumers fielded in May 2020.

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