SMG and Microsoft join to identify, target "ad avoiders"


Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions and Starcom MediaVest Group jointly sponsored a study focusing on reaching the elusive "Ad Avoider" segment. This study, presented yesterday by SMG and Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions at the Cannes International Ad Festival, says Ad Avoiders are defined as an elusive segment of 17 to 35-year-olds who hold less than favorable attitudes toward media content designed to influence them. The research determined that there are two different kinds of Avoiders: the Ad Averse and the Ad Ambivalent.

The Ad Ambivalent is a passive segment that has limited energy with regard to advertising. They simply want it to go away and marketers find it difficult to get their attention at all. The more active Ad Averse segment is comprised of people who have more extreme attitudes about advertising; they love what they like and hate what they don't.

"It was a wakeup call to find that one third of the 17-35 year olds surveyed admitted to never paying attention to advertising," said SMG's EVP/Global Media Research Director Kate Sirkin. "We're hopeful this research will help us more accurately target and effectively reach this group of consumers that has historically been dismissed for fear they are too hard to reach."

The study helps to establish how advertisers can engage those who are disinterested yielding insight-driven action steps for marketers to reach these Ad Avoiders including:

Don't be a "marketer over shoulder." Marketers must remember that it is the consumers space and advertising that enters this private circle is usually not welcome.

Don't expect something for nothing. Consumers are much more likely to be accepting of advertisers' messages if their time is exchanged for something, such as entertaining content.

Do be a welcomed surprise. Consumers find delight in discovering some remarkable, relevant, helpful content in an unexpected location.

Do let go. Ad Adverse individuals appreciate space to make a brand "their own." They want to personalize it, shape it, own it.

Whatever you want to say, say it well. The Ad Adverse respondents in the study were savvy about production values and acknowledged the work involved in making advertising interesting and entertaining.