Ads: Most interested in, not influenced by

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A recent Harris Poll found that 55% of surveyed Americans find advertising – any type – to be either very or somewhat interesting (8% and 47% respectively), while 41% say it isn’t (28% not that interesting, 13% not at all). But only 35% say that advertising is influential (6% very, 29% somewhat), compared to 54% who say it isn’t influential. However, for advertising-based media, there is much to celebrate in the results. And part of the good news is the most interested and influenced are the young and the wealthy.


68% of 18-34s confess their interest in ads, followed by 60% of 35-44s, 49% of 45-54s and 46% of 55+s. (Then there is our mom, who is pushing 80 and can seemingly be staring right at a commercial and be totally unaware of it – by training, not declining faculties.)

62% of those in households earning $75K or more annually land in the interested camp, with interest levels for households earning less ranging from 52% to 56%.
Those who admit to being influenced by ads are again led by 18-34s, 45% of whom so admit. The other demos track at 37%, 28% and 29%.

Harris wrote, “These days advertisers are in a quandary. They need to promote their products and services yet be mindful of the fact that consumers are just not spending much money. How do they get their attention? Advertisers need to grab the consumers’ attention – make the ads stand out and that seems to be working, especially with the ever important 18-34 demographic. But, the sticking point is having the advertisements actually influence the purchase. One thing to remember is that some people don’t like to admit they were influenced – the fact that over one-third of Americans do admit to it means that advertisers are, in fact, getting the job done.”

RBR/TVBR observation: The great news is Harris’ ultimate analysis that advertising is working just fine. We agree. It’s human nature. Who among us, when confronted with competing products for an item rarely on one’s shopping list, won’t pay just a little bit more for the one with a familiar name? The fact that the young are most open is great too – that’s the time to build brand habits.