Trust in Advertising

I noticed an eDM, yesterday, from THINK TV  the marketing initiative of Free TV Australia, representing Australia’s free-to-air metropolitan and regional commercial television broadcasters.

The thrust of it is that “more than six out of ten online Australians would take action as a result of an ad seen on TV, making TV the most powerful paid advertising platform to drive a consumer reaction.” This is based upon Nielsen’s post which specifies Australian-only respondents.

Certainly this is a good result for TV with the qualifier ‘most powerful paid advertising platform.’

This is part of a global survey across 5 developing regions – Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa/Middle East, Latin America and N. America, with 30,000 online respondents. The survey can be found here

We’ve been tracking this bi-annual survey since 2009, charted below, and this got me thinking about general trends beyond just paid-advertising around the topic of “Trust.”

Consistently the 4 most trusted forms of advertising are owned or earned.


Nielsen trust in advertising


Aside from that here are the top ten things to note comparing 2015 vs 2009 (unless otherwise specified)

  1. Ads on mobile phones up 108% on the trustometer.
  2. Txt ads on mobiles up 75%
  3. TV product placement up 50% (vs 2011)
  4. Online banner ads up 45%
  5. Online video ads up 43%
  6. Ads on social networks up 39% (vs 2011)
  7. Ads served in search engines up 22%
  8. Cinema ads up 13%
  9. Branded websites up 11%
  10. Ads on TV is up 10%

If we break up the data by Gen Z (15-20), Millennials (21-34), Gen X (35-49), Baby Boomers (50-64) and the Silent Generation (65+) then the Global picture looks like this.

trust in advertising by generation

Here are some take-outs.

  1. The most trusting generation across the board is Millennials.
  2. Aside from ‘emails I signed up for’ the Silent Generation is the least trusting across the board.
  3. I’ve taken these two generations as a polarising point of comparison.
  4. For example, Millennials (21-34) are 140% more likely to trust ads on mobile devices than the Silent Generation (65+)
    1. 128% more likely to trust txt ads on mobile phones
    2. 96% more likely to trust ads on social networks and online video ads
    3. 94% more likely to trust cinema ads
    4. 88% more likely to trust online banner ads
    5. 58% more likely to trust outdoor ads, TV product placement and ads served in search engines
    6. 57% more likely to trust brand sponsorships
    7. 40% more likely to trust ads on TV

So what can we begin to conclude?

Nearly $14 Billion is invested annually in Australia, on advertising, with TV taking the largest share.

“Recommendations from people I know” and “consumer opinions posted online” are consistently trusted across all generations. It makes sense that the opportunity for most brands is to tap into these formative moments, also referred to as the ‘zero moment of truth.’

These are the junctures when people are seeking peer-guidance, not just branded messaging.

For brands to penetrate these junctures they need to bring customer experience to the fore which revolves around an holistic cluster of product design, customer support, service, packaging, e-commerce, the web site and marketing/advertising.

Make the customer experience fabulous, provide value at every turn. This brings with it customer loyalty and subsequently peer recommendations. Bingo.

Despite the increasing ease with which we can avoid advertising it does work. But how much better could it perform if it sat within a halo of customer experience?

The opportunity cost of ongoing and sustainable peer content is a good deal lower than campaign based solutions and given that most campaigns will inevitably be caught in a blizzard of distractions, providing real value is a more defensible position than relying on people having nothing better to look at.

copyright FRANk Media 2018