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
406 comments on “New Research Sheds Light on Daily Ad Exposures
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  16. […] rest of the 500 – 5000 ads I see per day are simple wastes of screen time, my attention, my battery, my data, […]

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  19. […] for brands reliant on advertising and traditional marketing, where the more scale they support, the greater the saturation they have to compete with (and pay for) in their […]

  20. […] a Media Dynamics study revealed that the average adult is exposed to some 362 ads every single day. That’s a terrific amount when […]

  21. […] write anything that you can’t prove. People today are exposed to hundreds of brand messages all day long. Many of those are fluffy claims that their products are the best, number 1, […]

  22. […] for those Egyptian sales posters made on papyrus. It is even more difficult today. Depending on the statistics you read today’s consumer is exposed to 5,000-plus advertising and brand messages per day. In […]

  23. […] čo v roku 1984 bol dospelý človek vystavený v priemere 2 000 reklamám denne, v roku 2014 to bolo už niečo okolo 5 000 a v minulom roku sa toto číslo […]

  24. […] a Media Dynamics study revealed that the average adult is exposed to some 362 ads every single day. That’s a terrific amount when […]

  25. […] the immense amount of advertisements consumers absorb on any given day (more than 5,000 ads and brand exposures daily), savvy consumers’ reactions have been two-fold: they’ve begun tuning advertisements out and, […]

  26. […] already enough video content vying for your audience’s attention online, so a focus on quality and consistency will help you stand […]

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  28. […] a Media Dynamics study revealed that the average adult is exposed to some 362 ads every single day. That’s a terrific amount when […]

  29. […] a Media Dynamics study revealed that the average adult is exposed to some 362 ads every single day. That’s a terrific amount […]

  30. […] a Media Dynamics study revealed that the average adult is exposed to some 362 ads every single day. That’s a terrific amount when […]

  31. […] a Media Dynamics study revealed that the average adult is exposed to some 362 ads every single day. That’s a terrific amount when […]

  32. […] a Media Dynamics study revealed that the average adult is exposed to some 362 ads every single day. That’s a terrific amount when […]

  33. […] not enough to just be something new and shiny. Today’s consumers are bombarded with something different every five […]

  34. […] we are constantly exposed to advertising, be it in print, TV, online or even your mailbox. In fact, we are exposed to 362 ads per day on average, yet only 3 percent of these will leave an […]

  35. […] average person is exposed to thousands of marketing messages everyday, making it harder for companies selling established products and services to cut through […]

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

  37. […] the immense amount of advertisements consumers absorb on any given day (more than 5,000 ads and brand exposures daily), savvy consumers’ reactions have been two-fold: they’ve begun tuning advertisements out and, […]

  38. […] it has exploded in recent years. According to a study done by Media Dynamics, Inc. (reported in a SJ Insights article) since 1945 media usage has nearly doubled in terms of the amount of minutes per day, even if 1945 […]

  39. […] steep in my opinion, the exposure to media has increased over the years for many reasons. But the ad exposure has not seen any major spike. With the ease of a remote, a consumer can change what they want to watch in order to avoid an […]

  40. […] tend to overload media with their product. If not done well, this can lead to ad burnout. Although media consumption has doubled to almost 10 hours daily in the last 70 years, consumers aren’t taking in that […]

  41. […] For one, the average time spent on technology has increased significantly. In an article by SJ Insights, “a typical adult’s daily media consumption has grown from 5.2 hours in 1945 to 9.8 hours.” […]

  42. […] each day has increased my almost triple, check out this chart made by “Media Dynamics” (https://sjinsights.net/2014/09/29/new-research-sheds-light-on-daily-ad-exposures/).  “Digital Marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to […]

  43. […] of those ads we encouter are actually “seen,” let alone noted. This oversaturation, as SJ Insights notes, makes breaking through the white noise […]

  44. […] We are bombarded with hundreds of ads per day telling us the right stuff is going to make us happier, healthier, more attractive, and more successful. (1) […]

  45. […] Foster told Marketing Dive, calling out research that underscores how consumers have become completely inundated with online ads, receiving thousands of generic messages a […]

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