Traditional Media Ads Tops For Reaching, Influencing Luxury Buyers

June 20, 2013

Shullman-Ad-Channel-Reach-Effectiveness-June2013TV is the top advertising medium for reaching affluent adults, while magazines are particularly effective in reaching those who plan to buy luxury items, according to survey results from the Shullman Research Center. The survey looked at the reach of advertising in different channels and places, segmenting the results by household income level and intent to purchase luxury items or products over the coming 12 months. Beyond reach, the study also examined consumer views on the effectiveness of the advertising channels regarding the luxury advertising they include. And on this level, too, TV and magazines sat at or near the top of the rankings.

The results are a reminder that traditional media sources can be very effective for advertising (something research suggests that consumers and marketers both recognize), even as luxury marketers appear to be shifting budgets to the digital side of the equation.

Highlights for some of the more popular advertising channels are listed below.


TV emerged as the top medium in terms of reach (71%) across all of the adults surveyed, easily ahead of the closest competitor, websites (50%). TV’s reach is particularly high among luxury prospects in the $75,000+ (82%) and $250,000+ (81%) brackets.

Concerning ad effectiveness (based on those who have seen/heard advertising in a particular place or channel), TV rates much more highly among luxury prospects overall (82%) than those who don’t plan to buy luxury (64%).


While magazines (48%) trailed websites (50%) in overall reach, they overtook them among luxury prospects in the $250,000+ (76% vs. 66%) and $500,000+ (72% vs. 67%) income brackets.

Magazines were also deemed far more effective by luxury prospects (82%) than their counterparts (64%), garnering the top effectiveness ranking for luxury prospects in the $75,000+ bracket.


Radio was on par with magazines in terms of overall reach, but tended to have lower reach among luxury prospects than those without any plans to buy luxury items.

When it came to advertising effectiveness, though, radio found better ratings among luxury prospects, and took the 4th spot (out of 21) in the effectiveness rankings among luxury prospects with household income of at least $500,000.


Though enjoying lower reach among the average adult (39%) than TV, magazines, and radio, newspapers boasted slightly above-average reach on average among luxury prospects.

Newspapers also were ranked the most effective advertising platform by luxury buyers in the $500,000+ income segment.


So how did digital channels do? Websites had strong reach, but that reach tended to be below-average among luxury prospects. Despite their reach, websites also had relatively poor effectiveness ranking among luxury prospects, save for the $75,000+ segment, for whom websites counted as their second-most effective advertising medium after magazines.

Ads on Facebook and other social media sites rivaled newspapers for reach among the overall sample, and fared better in reach among luxury prospects. However, these ads tended to far relatively poorly among higher-income luxury prospects (15th for the $250,000+ and $500,000+ brackets).

The most effective place for advertising among all adults? That distinction would belong to ads inside airplanes, rated effective by 84% of respondents overall, including 92% of luxury prospects. However, these ads reach just 8% of luxury prospects.

Other interesting findings include high effectiveness ratings allocated by high-income segments to ads in health clubs and gyms, and ads on smartphones and tablets having relatively high effectiveness rankings among luxury prospects overall.

About the Data: The insights and data presented in the report are based on the Shullman Luxury and Affluence Monthly Pulse, March Preview Wave, conducted online between February 26 and March 6, 2013, among adults age 18 or older. Five sample groups were surveyed: a representative national sample of adults (500 interviews); four household income segments: $75,000 to $149,999 (246 interviews); $150,000 to $249,999 (249 interviews); $250,000 to $499,999 (250 interviews); $500,000 or more (255 interviews). Results were weighted to bring these income groups, as well as other key demographics, into line with estimates from the March 2012 Current Population Survey as reported by the Bureau of the Census in the fall of 2012.

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