Advertisers may think their ads are effective, but consumers are not always prone to agree. A new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll found that a gap between advertisers and consumers still exists in ad perception.

While the majority of advertising professionals think their advertising works quite well, consumers are not so convinced. And perhaps the most troubling result is that new ad formats online are annoying consumers.

The LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll asked 2,025 adults and 1,105 advertisers to rate their preception of advertising in the last two weeks of June. 

While half of advertisers think ads make people stop and think (53%) and ads that give people new information (51%) are very effective, only three in ten consumers (30% and 29% respectively) feel the same way. 

Both consumers and advertisers like funny ads. 34% of consumers and 41% of advertisers say entertaining ads are very effective and one-third of both consumers (33%) and advertisers (32%) found funny ads very effective.

But consumers really care about price. Value propositions work well for 57% of the consumers polled, while empathy and cheerleading for a brand are only very important to 24% and 19% of consumers consequteively.

According to Marianne Foley, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Harris Interactive: “Ads that emphasize value propositions or ‘luxuries for less’ appeal to consumers more so than empathy and cheerleading. On the other hand, advertisers rate empathy and cheerleading above ‘luxuries for less’ on the list of themes they are using."

But when it comes to ad formats, consumers are not as receptive to change as advertisers might like.

The IAB released new display ad standards at the end of June that are being used by major publishers like BusinessWeek, ESPN and Time Inc. They are larger, more interactive, and if this poll is a judge — more annoying to consumers.

80% of respondents rated "ads that expand on the page and cover the content that you are trying to read" as "very frustrating. That description well fits the pushdown ads that are now popping up on media sites.

Nearly as many (79%) had the same reaction to "ads where you can't find the skip/close button" and "ads that automatically pop up" (76%). 66% found "ads that automatically open if you mouse over them" very frustrating, while 60% said the same thing of "animated ads playing automatically, with or without sound that distracts you" and "ads that play music/have loud soundtracks".

Advertisers and pulbishers are looking to new ad formats to combat ad ignorance online. But they have to be careful to avoid annoying consmers in the process. And the more ads get in the way of other activities online, the more likely they are to do so.

Meghan Keane

Published 21 July, 2009 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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Comments (1)



Advertisers should take a hint from freemiums. Give users something of value in the advertisement and they will read them. "New", "Imporved", "Sale", etc. are dead numbers. The unneeded movement is more distracting for the time it takes to load and how it moves the page is horrendous in this area. I hate the adobe download poping up on every page asking me if I want to install  their advertising facilitating software. If I wanted it, I'd have it, but I don't so I won't. Fox Sports is particularly obsessive about this--we all can live without them, too. Adobe sadly is moving toward being another MSFT. One is enough! (Still love acrobat 5 the most)

Ads between pages, bite. Pop-ups are hated. And hotmail's righthand column covering the mail window is driving me to for free email. B/T/W check them out; cool Euro styling and cleaner than hotmail (soon to be known as dead rather than live) more appealing than gmail. (Where are they going? What happened to less is more?)

We all accept that advertising is necessary, but media and marketing firms have to stop using advertising that is gauged for dumb and dumber. Most surfers are educated (maybe not on Newsvine....). Give people a reason to read the ad and they will. So far, they are getting the response they deserve: maximum ignorance. If reality bites, re-invent it!! Internet marketing is sadly in need of re-invention. © 2009

almost 9 years ago

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