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.