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Advertising Assessment within Different Media

comScore released the results of a recent market study of consumer's receptivity to advertising in different media formats. Their assessment: an advertisement's effectiveness is based in part on the medium that carries it, and how much trust consumers have in that medium.

They suggest that we think of it this way -- consider the type of advertisements we're more receptive to -- an advert that we see on a late-night infomercial, in a weekly newspaper circular, on a web site, or during a prime-time television newscast?

To shed some light on the subject, comScore conducted a survey that quantified consumer's changing attitudes and receptivity to advertising across these various media. They presented the results at the American Marketing Association's Mplanet conference, where more than 1000 marketers gathered to discuss growing consumer control, new media and marketing performance.

comScore's survey results uncovered that consumers are most likely to notice advertising for a product or service if they see it on television: 85 percent overall. User-generated content sites (UGC) garner a much lower 28 percent attention level. Television adverts also generate a higher level of trust than ads carried on UGC sites.

However, when comScore further analyzed the data by demographic segments, they found that 18-34 year-olds are much more comfortable with UGC sites, with 41 percent responding that they are receptive to advertising on those sites.

In contrast, a lower 30 percent of 35-54 year-olds and only 23 percent of 55+ year-olds identify themselves as being receptive to advertising at UGC sites. Importantly, 18-34 year-olds are most receptive to advertising on UGC sites for high-fun product categories -- such as Apparel; Music, Movies, Entertainment; Food and Beverage; and Consumer Electronics -- and less receptive to advertising for these product categories on traditional media sites.

Moreover, 18-34 year-olds do look to traditional sites for advertising on high-trust product categories -- such as Financial Services; Prescription Medication; and OTC Medication -- while avoiding advertisements for these categories on UGC sites.

Now, while there's nothing really surprising within these findings, I do believe that it further validates the need to carefully assess the segmentation and targeting potential of various media. Overall, online content enables better mapping of advertising to a specific group of people, and provides the ability to more accurately measure the associated consumer engagement.

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