Over One-Third of Americans Will Not Purchase a Brand Because of a Distasteful Advertisement

Adweek and Harris Interactive conducted a poll to find out whether advertising can kill sales vs. help make them.

Not surprisingly, the poll found over one-third of Americans will not purchase a brand because of a distasteful advertisement.

From Harris:

There are many different reasons someone may or may not purchase something. One reason may be the advertisements for a certain brand. Over one-third of Americans (35%) say that they have chosen not to purchase a certain brand because they find the ads distasteful and an additional 22% say they not done this, but have thought of doing so. More than two in five Americans (43%) say they have never done this.

These are some of the findings of a new Adweek Media/ Harris Poll®,survey of 2,194 U.S. adults surveyed online between February 2 and 4, 2010 by Harris Interactive®.

Over one quarter of Americans (28%) say they have chosen to not purchase a brand because they did not like the spokesperson it used, while 22% say they have not done so, but thought of doing it and half (50%) they have never done so. While over half (52%) say they have not done so, 27% of Americans say they did not purchase a certain brand because they did not like a program or event sponsored by the brand and 20% have thought of doing so.

Education and Income differences

When it comes to who is more likely to not purchase a certain brand because of these three reasons, education and income show some differences. The more education one had, the more likely they are to say they have not purchased something. Over two in five college graduates (43%) have not purchased a brand because they found the advertisements distasteful compared to 29% of those with a high school education or less. One-third of college grads (33%) say they have not purchased a brand because they didn’t like the spokesperson compared to 23% of those with a high school education or less.

The spokesperson makes a difference for those at different income levels. One-quarter of those with a household income of under $50,000 a year (25%) say they did not purchase a certain brand because they did not like the spokesperson used compared to 28% of those with a household income of between $50,000 and $74,999 a year and one-third (33%) of those with a household income of $75,000 a year or more.

So what?

Certain things, whether it is the voiceover in an ad, the concert or sporting event the brand sponsors or even the general tone of the advertisement, consumers can be turned off to a brand. These reasons have nothing to do with the actual brand, product or service, but are things that advertisers and marketers must consider each and every time they are pulling together storyboards for their next campaign. What is also difficult is when a long-time spokesperson becomes involved in something scandalous. Each brand they endorse must make the difficult decision of whether to “break-up” with the spokesperson over that scandal or attempt to ride it out and not have consumers flee the brand.

Read the full Harris report here.

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