Online Ads: Who’s Paying Attention, and Why

July 2, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Creative & Formats | Digital | Men | Women | Youth & Gen X

Ipsos-Americans-Reasons-for-Engaging-With-An-Online-Ad-July201344% of Americans claim to have watched a commercial for a brand or product online in the past month, finds Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange in new survey results, while 42% say they’ve looked at or read an ad for a brand or product and 15% say they’ve clicked on a banner or pop-up ad for a brand or product. But what motivates them to watch, read, or click? From a variety of reasons listed, a leading 37% said they choose to engage with an ad (referring to watching, reading or clicking) due to it being for a brand or product they like or are interested in. About one-third said that rather than being motivated, they decide to engage with an ad because they are forced to look at it in order to get to the screen they want to see (34%), while one-third also said they decide to engage with an ad if it’s for a product they are currently shopping for (33%).

Beyond relevance, the ad’s creative appears to motivate some consumers to engage with it. About 3 in 10 decide to watch, read, or click an online ad because the content of the ad is interesting, the ad is funny, or because they find it informative, useful, or entertaining. Great or catchy music (16%) and special effects or cinematography (13%) are less appealing reasons to engage with an ad.

The company appears to have some bearing, too, although not as much as the product or brand. While 37% said they are inspired by interest in the brand or product, 26% decide to engage with online ads due to their being from a company they like or are interested in.

Interestingly, respondents were slightly more likely to say they’d engage with an online ad due to a friend having told them about it (13%) than because they liked the spokesperson or celebrity (11%) in it. The presence of attractive or interesting people in the ad influences only 9%.

A look at gender and age splits reveals some interesting dynamics:

  • American women are about 34% more likely than men to say they’ve watched a commercial for a brand or product (51% vs. 38%) in the past month and about 33% more likely to say they’ve looked at or read an ad for a brand or product (48% vs. 36%). They were equally as (un)likely to have clicked on a banner or pop-up ad, though.
  • The 18-34 age bracket was most likely to have watched a commercial online (50%) in the past month, although the 35-49 group took the lead in likelihood to have looked at or read an ad (44%) and to have clicked on a banner or pop-up ad (19%).
  • Among the various reasons for engaging with an ad, women were more likely than men to cite being forced to look at it (40% vs. 27%), the advertised product being one they are currently shopping for (38% vs. 27%), and responding to a friend’s recommendation (15% vs. 11%).
  • Men, however, appear more likely to be influenced by humor (32% vs. 27%), the company (30% vs. 23%), special effects or interesting cinematography (16% vs. 10%), the spokesperson or celebrity they like (13% vs. 8%), and attractive or interesting people in the ad (14% vs. 5%).
  • Among 18-34-year-olds, being forced to look at an ad (38%) is the top reason for deciding to engage with an ad. Interest in the product, humor, and the ad’s entertaining nature are the next-leading reasons for engaging with an ad (each at 33%) among this demographic.
  • The influence of humor tends to dissipate alongside the increasing age of the respondents, while the opposite is true for interest in the content of the ad.

About the Data: The data is based on a survey of approximately 1,000 adults 18-64 in the US, conducted between March 5 and March 19, 2013.

45th Parallel Design Ad

Explore More Charts.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This