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Americans Hate Irrelevant Ads—Is Anyone Surprised?

22 May 2013 | Blog

A new survey from InsightsOne confirmed what many advertisers have feared all along—Americans are ad savvy and fed up with being bombarded by ads that are useless to them. They report “fully 87% are now putting their foot down on the number of irrelevant ads they are willing to see before they ignore a company completely”. And it’s not just pop-ups that are pissing them off—60% cite TV as a top offender.

Scary stuff for a marketer; no one wants to alienate potential customers. This is not actually terrible news, though—notice the key word “irrelevant”. It’s not the advertising that people are objecting to, it’s the advertising that is aimed at someone obviously different from them. As InsightsOne’s CEO Waqar Hasan notes, “People are fed up with seeing ads and other communications that aren’t relevant to them as individuals.” It’s not unreasonable, in this age of increasing personalization, for viewers to expect advertising to be intelligently deployed. They don’t mind being told about products, as long as the ads can explain why the individual viewers might actually be interested in those products.

So the fix is not actually that difficult. Make the ads relevant. Whether targeting different products at different people or just different creative that might resonate with different groups, delivering relevant ads is well within marketers’ capabilities now. Viewers expect advertising to speak to them as individual people, and these days, it’s not an unreasonable expectation.