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
436 comments on “New Research Sheds Light on Daily Ad Exposures
  1. […] are bombarded day in and day out with multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns that have convinced us that we need to work harder so we can obtain all the “stuff” we need to […]

  2. […] New Research Sheds Light on Daily Ad Exposures […]

  3. […] me ask you a question. How many times do you get distracted a day? Advertisements take a person’s attention away from their tasks 150+ times everyday. The average American […]

  4. […] Studies estimate the average American consumer is bombarded with 3,000 to 20,000 advertising messages every day. […]

  5. […] to SJ Insights, adults are exposed to roughly 360 ads a day. It’s no shock that most people don’t like ads and […]

  6. […] Your subscribers should want to open your newsletter as soon as it appears in their inboxes. However, emails that only talk about your business can alienate subscribers, especially with consumers receiving between 3,000-20,000 brand messages per day. […]

  7. […] average consumer sees about 360 ads each day across all forms of media. If you happen to be in IT and you’re not using ad blockers, then […]

  8. […] many ads is the average person exposed to every day? Nobody really knows for sure, but estimates range from 3,000 to 20,000. Even at the low end of the estimate, that’s a lot of competition for a customer’s […]

  9. […] Your subscribers should want to open your newsletter as soon as it appears in their inboxes. However, emails that only talk about your business can alienate subscribers, especially with consumers receiving between 3,000-20,000 brand messages per day. […]

  10. […] marketers strive for. In today’s digital environment where consumers are inundated with more than 5,000 brand exposures per day, marketers risk over connecting with consumers. In this environment, it is important to take a step […]

  11. […] Your subscribers should want to open your newsletter as soon as it appears in their inboxes. However, emails that only talk about your business can alienate subscribers, especially with consumers receiving between 3,000-20,000 brand messages per day. […]

  12. […] Your subscribers should want to open your newsletter as soon as it appears in their inboxes. However, emails that only talk about your business can alienate subscribers, especially with consumers receiving between 3,000-20,000 brand messages per day. […]

  13. […] Your subscribers should want to open your newsletter as soon as it appears in their inboxes. However, emails that only talk about your business can alienate subscribers, especially with consumers receiving between 3,000-20,000 brand messages per day. […]

  14. […] our daily lives, be it online, in print, on billboards or through our television screens. In fact, research suggests we are exposed to, on average, 362 ads per day (not including brand exposures) but only 3 per cent […]

  15. […] day, consumers process around 100,000 digital words, and see approximately 5,000 marketing […]

  16. […] consumer eyes is stiffer than it has ever been.  Recent studies claim that we now spend between 8-10 hours a day consuming media, and to most consumers dismay, much of that time is spent consuming ads.  This level of […]

  17. […] and “sold to” all the time.  In a recent study, the per [person] Average number of “ads only” exposures per day: […]

  18. […] “It’s getting harder to sell our bulls!*t.” The digital consumer is bombarded with over 5,000 messages per day. This has made it harder to reach our target audience amongst all the noise and created consumer […]

  19. […] SJ Insights documented the average number of exposures individuals see of an add daily: […]

  20. […] a faster & cheaper alternative than to advertise using social media platforms. A recent survey done by Media Dynamics inc proved that the average amount of brand exposures as well as […]

  21. […] to SJ Insights, the average person is exposed to between 3,000 and 20,000 advertisements, or brand exposures every […]

  22. […] Sorry to tell you that, but it’s true. Nobody wants your marketing. We’re all up to our ears in advertising and marketing. We see 3,000 to 20,000 ads and brand messages per day. […]

  23. […] average human reads about 5000 marketing messages every day; that’s a […]

  24. […] Marketing não funciona mais como antes. Em média, o americano é impactado por 5 mil marcas por dia. […]

  25. […] let this happen?! To be honest, we don’t really have any control over it. According to this article, people are exposed to anywhere from 3,000 to 20,000 advertisements A DAY. That’s a wide […]

  26. […] average consumer is bombarded by more than 3,000 marketing messages a day, meaning that most messages go ignored or blocked […]

  27. […] are inundated with ads. It’s estimated that the average US consumer sees over 350 ads per day and only notices 150 of them. That’s a lot […]

  28. […] more likely to remember seeing an ad in the Cinema vs. TV? An average person is exposed to about 360 ads a day. Clutter is REAL! The cinema can be a powerful tool in promoting your brand. Here are 5 reasons why […]

  29. […] than they ever have been throughout history, with the average person being advertised to 5000 times per day. So how do we make sure our messages are received by people? Simple. Keep it simple. Short and […]

  30. […] much ad clutter in today’s market to not efficiently target your audience. The average adult is exposed to 362 ads each day, and thousands more brand exposures. This inevitably leads to wasted budget – digital marketers […]

  31. […] Link for the site I pulled the numbers from […]

  32. […] all are aware that the sell side floods the public with from 3,000 to 20,000 brand images daily. Because money is at stake, and the buy side as well as the sell side want every chance to talk […]

  33. […] one popular estimate, a person 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with up to 5,000 or more exposures today. As ads have continue to proliferate, especially in digital channels, we have begun to see […]

  34. […] average, consumers are exposed to more than 5000 advertisements per day. Among those 5000-plus advertisements, only about 12 will make an impression on the average […]

  35. […] a time when ad blocking has become ubiquitous and DVRs are the norm, one study shows that the average consumer pays attention to only 12 of the 363 advertisements he is exposed to each […]

  36. […] “It’s getting harder to sell our bulls!*t.” The digital consumer is bombarded with over 5,000 messages per day. This has made it harder to reach our target audience amongst all the noise and created consumer […]

  37. […] “Each of us is subjected to, on average, more than 5,000 advertisement and brand exposures per day.” SJ Insights 2014 […]

  38. […] average, according to a market research study, one person is exposed to more than 5,000 advertisement and brand exposures per […]

  39. […] Whether it’s Apple’s billboards scattered along the highway or L’Oréal’s pop up commercials before every YouTube video, everywhere you go and everywhere you click, a company is trying to sell you something. However, these endless advertisements may be doing more harm than good by annoying their audiences with products people are not interested in. In 2015, over 45 million Americans blocked advertisements. Out of people who did not block ads, research reports that the average person sees over 5,000 advertisements a day, yet only 12 of those advertisements make an…. […]

  40. […] the millions, American consumers have decided that getting exposed to more than 360 individual advertisements is simply too much. When they search on Google or log into Facebook, they want to get relevant […]

  41. […] response to your outreach emails, or social media efforts, after 48 hours. Embrace the rule of 7: It’s been estimated that we’re now exposed to about 5,000 daily ads; couple that with declining attention spans, and […]

  42. […] consumers being exposed to as many as 5000 marketing messages each day, selling complex products and services is no easy task. Too often we see the language of […]

  43. […]  Research shows that a person’s attention span is of 8 seconds, and in a day they see an average of 300 advertisements. So, how do you make your message memorable and stand […]

  44. […] Overselling on your Facebook page is criminal. Customers dislike having to be constantly marketed at; after all they have to deal with this throughout their day and you certainly don’t want to add to their irritations. There’s a research that found we are bombarded by an average of 3,000 ads per day. […]

  45. […] attention spans. Minuscule, gnat-like…cookies! (see what I mean).  According to research by Media Dynamics, adults are now exposed to about 360 ads per day across all five media (TV, radio, Internet, […]

  46. […] People are burnt out on ads. Estimates for the number we see every day range anywhere from 362 to 5,000. […]

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2020 Projected Political Ad Spendidng

This past summer SJ Insights’ CEO Sheree Johnson, was invited to join the University of Kansas Advisory Board for its Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications program. Sheree was also appointed Vice President of Finance for the American Advertising Federation – Kansas City (AAF-KC).

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