Consumers Agree: Ads Should Tell Unique Stories

October 26, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Digital | Email | Men | Paid Search | Social Media | Television | Women

Ads should tell a unique story rather than just try to sell, agree 73% of US consumers. That’s one in a series of findings [pdf] from Adobe and Edelman Berland on consumer attitudes towards marketing and advertising. Respondents were presented with 17 statements about marketing and advertisements and asked with which they agree. Two-thirds agreed that a video is worth 1,000 words and that user product reviews are the best source of truth. Also, 51% agreed that beautiful advertising is more effective.

About two-thirds agree that TV commercials are more effective than online ads, which is likely tied in with TV being a better-suited medium for story-telling than many online formats, such as search and display ads. Still, 27% believe no-one watches TV commercials anymore, which, to be fair, could be viewed as a low percentage.

Online advertising fares poorly in consumer esteem. Significant numbers of consumers agree that online advertising is creepy and stalks you (46%) and that online advertising isn’t very effective (30%).

57% agreed that people buy whatever celebrities like or wear, and that the Super Bowl is the best advertising opportunity of the year. But however bullish consumers are on TV, story-telling and the Super Bowl, 53% believe that “most marketing is a bunch of B.S..” That’s probably why respondents rated marketing and advertising as one of the least valuable professions to society.

User-Generated Content Gaining In Appeal

Professionally-generated promotions have the most appeal, according to 36% of consumers and 49% of marketers. But, 28% of consumers prefer consumer and user-generated content, and 27% of marketers agree. A cynical 11% of consumers believe there are no good ads and understandably, just 1% of marketers agree.

Regarding social media, only 7% of both consumers and marketers agree that social media endorsements are the most effective form of advertising. Just 4% of consumers and 5% of marketers said the same about email, and 3% of consumers and 7% of marketers named paid search.

Women Perceived As More Susceptible To Advertising

Details from Adobe’s “Click Here: The State of Online Advertising” reveals that 44% of consumers and 29% of marketers feel that advertising works better on women than on men. Some 28% of consumers and 32% of marketers believe women are very influenced by advertising, while just 11% of consumers and 13% of marketers believe the same about men.

Nielsen in April 2012 observed a considerable gender gap in online purchases inspired by TV ads. Among consumers who use the internet while watching TV, women are 12% more likely than the average consumer to purchase a product online that was featured on TV, while men are 14% less likely. Also true, female tablet owners in Q4 2011 were 12% more likely than male owners to look up product information for an ad they saw on TV (28% vs. 25%), and 14% more likely to look up coupons or deals related to an ad they saw on TV (24% vs. 21%).

About The Data: The study was commissioned by Adobe and produced by research firm Edelman Berland. It was conducted as an online survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, 18 years or older, and 250 professional marketers in the United States. Interviewing took place from October 8 to 16, 2012.

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