New Research Sheds Light on Daily Ad Exposures

A new study of media usage and ad exposure by Media Dynamics, Inc. reveals that while a typical adult’s daily media consumption has grown from 5.2 hours in 1945 to 9.8 hours (or 590 minutes) currently, this has not been reflected in a huge spike in ad exposure.

Although commercial clutter on TV has risen steadily, today’s viewer has more avoidance options like remote controls and DVRs, and many more channels to choose from. As a result, the study summarizes the number of ads that adults are now exposed to across all five media (TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines) is about 360 per day; of these, only 150-155 are even noted, and far fewer make a strong enough impact to be recalled, make an impression, and ultimately, make a sale.

The chart below reflects MDI’s projections of the average adult’s daily media usage for 1945, 1985 and 2014. It shows the huge increase in total time spent, but the relative stability in terms of ad exposure and noting. This is a solid indication that time spent with the various media of course is not an indicator of ad impact.

Daily Media and Ad Exposure

This study begs the question and somewhat challenges the prior Yankelovich estimates that a person 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with up to 5,000 or more exposures today.

So just how many marketing messages do we see in a day? In addition to the Yankelovich study (later quoted by the NY Times), depending on what’s included, other studies support that message and brand “exposure” can range from 3,000 to 20,000. Those higher numbers not only include ads, but also include every time you pass by a label in a grocery store, all the ads in your mailbox whether you see them or not, the label on everything you wear, the condiments in your fringe, the cars on the highway, etc.

The fact that you and the message or a brand name or logo are in the same proximity for you to see it doesn’t mean you saw it. No one can really process that many exposures. We can’t notice, absorb, or even judge the personal merit of 3,000 visual/audio exposures per day, let alone 20,000.

Advertising doesn’t just offer the right product to the right consumer at the right time. It gets them emotionally motivated to investigate and ultimately to buy the advertised product or service. That’s why engagement has become so important. So integrating this new research with the accepted number of 5,000 exposures per day, along with other proprietary research, this is how we look at it:

  • Average number of advertisement and brand exposures per day per person: 5,000+
  • Average number of “ads only” exposures per day: 362
  • Average number of “ads only” noted per day: 153
  • Average number of “ads only” that we have some awareness of per day: 86
  • Average number of “ads only” that made an impression (engagement): 12

Bottom-line, increasing engagement will help advertising break through the clutter of not only the hundreds of ad exposures per day, but of the thousands of ad and brand exposures per day.

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Posted in Ad Exposures, Branding, Media Exposures, Research
67 comments on “New Research Sheds Light on Daily Ad Exposures
  1. […] sell lines and ignore them.  Back in 1945, the average adult consumed media 5.2 hours a day.  A Media Dynamics study found that we now spend 9.8 hours (590 minutes) today.  This increase in media consumption has […]

  2. […] at a grocery store, take a quick inventory of how many sale signs you see. The average person spends 590 minutes a day exposed to advertising, and the grocery store is no different – these sale signs are everywhere. This means “buy one, […]

  3. […] to research, consumers are exposed to at least 5,000 advertisements per day!  (Source: 2014 study of media usage and ad exposure by Media Dynamics, […]

  4. […] that is called advertising. If we consider the fact that an average person is exposed to more than 5000 advertisements per day, including paid editorials into PR practices would just make this number even higher and dismiss […]

  5. […] our world of marketing messaging. Did you know that each person in our society, consumes upwards of 5,000 marketing messages daily? We can safely say that the majority of these 5,000 message are not related to nonprofit messaging. […]

  6. […] Don’t fight the big stores. Avoid too broad and general categories. The masses are already exposed to thousands of offers daily. […]

  7. […] Don’t fight the big stores. Avoid too broad and general categories. The masses are already exposed to thousands of offers daily. […]

  8. […] Don’t fight the big stores. Avoid too broad and general categories. The masses are already exposed to thousands of offers daily. […]

  9. […] the computer, you’re inundated with marketing all day long. According to the big brains over at SJInsights consumers are exposed to over 5,000 messages per day, about 350 of those are ad-only exposures. […]

  10. […] you know that an average person views approximately 5000 marketing messages per day? (source). Quite a lot to process, […]

  11. […] is extremely important to be aware of them and their affects on a persons decisions. According to Sheree Johnson the average person is exposed to 362 ads per day as of 2014. This amount is rising as well, and […]

  12. | The Mango says:

    […] live in a world where consumers see up to 5,000 ad messages a day and consume over 8 hours of media daily.  It’s easy for a message to get lost.  The days of a […]

  13. […] connecting with your audience can be hard to do. How do you cut through the clutter of the over 5,000+ ad and brand exposures consumers are seeing on a daily bases. Is there a secret why one ad works and the others don’t? […]

  14. Braman Group says:

    […] Insights reports that today’s adults are exposed to 5,000 or more ads per day, so grabbing their attention is difficult. Incentives such as gift cards, travel, and merchandise […]

  15. […] the average person encountering approximately 5,000 ads a day, it is tough to say that those things don’t impact culture. With the use of […]

  16. […] the day, a consumer is exposed to hundreds of ads each day, only a small fraction of which actually register. To stand out among all the noise, […]

  17. […] have shown that consumers encounter up to 20,000 brands every day, only 12 of which leave an impression. If you have any hope of being among those 12, you […]

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