Ads Generating Interest, But Not Influence

    June 24, 2009
    Chris Crum

Harris Interactive and AdWeek are sharing the results of a survey that looks at the interest-level and influence associated with advertising (in all formats) with relation to different age groups and incomes. The research indicates that overall, ads appear to be generating interest, but are not influencing purchase decisions.

"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," Harris Interactive says in a release. "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."

Let’s look at some of the findings from the poll:

Harris Interactive Research

Harris Interactive Research

AdWeek and Harris surveyed 2,521 adults between June 4 and June 8. They learned: 

– Two-thirds of adults aged 18-34 (66%) and 60% of adults aged 35-44 think the ads are interesting, as do 62% of those Americans with a household income of $75,000 or more.

– Over half of adults 55 and older (52%) say that current advertising is not interesting as do 46% of those aged 45-54 and those who have a household income between $35,000 and $74,999. 

– When buying products and/or services, over half of Americans (54%) say advertisements they had seen or heard were not influential when then made their last large purchase, with one-quarter (25%) saying they were not at all influential.

– One-third (35%) of Americans say the ads they saw or heard were influential.

– Six in ten adults aged 45-54 (60%) and 55 and older (62%) say ads are not influential with 31% of each age group saying they are not at all influential.

– Just under half of adults aged 18-34 (45%) say the ads they may have seen or heard are influential in making their last large purchase.

"The sticking point is having the advertisements actually influence the purchase," says Harris. "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."

The research should serve as a call-to-action for advertisers to create more engaging ad campaigns. Google released some interesting research yesterday, suggesting that rich media ads are the most effective.