A recent poll conducted by AdWeekMedia and Harris Interactive reveals that most people actually ignore web advertisement banners while they tend to believe more in television and news paper ads in order to arrive at purchase decisions.
The percentage of Americans who believe that television ads are more helpful is more than one third (37% to be exact) while 17% of the people trust news paper ads. Interestingly, only 14% of the people believe that Internet search ads are of any value at all. Not surprisingly, the percentage of the people who blindly trust Internet ads are mostly youngsters while majority (46%) all age groups together say that they ignore web banners.
The age factor
Age seems to play a major role in the usage of a particular ad medium (TV, news paper, web, radio etc) in order to make informed decisions when it comes to purchases. For example, most retired people (31%) trust the news papers more than anything else when it comes to advertisements. Obviously, in retired age people get to spend more time with news papers. 50% of the people in the age group of 18-50 believe that TV ads are good enough for decision making. Needless to say, only 20% of the youngsters say they ignore web ads. Basically the younger generation that is always hooked on to the Internet make their decisions in life based on what they read on the web.
The role of the medium
In fact the ease at which one can ignore an advertisement varies between mediums. For example, it is not very easy to ignore a printed newspaper ad simply because it is permanently staying there for ever. In order to ignore a TV ad, one has to actually switch the channel while movie (DVD/VCD) ads can be fast forwarded and easily skipped. In the case of web text ads, people can most easily ignore them. Most popups will be closed as soon as they appear and people mostly skip many web pages as soon as they hear/see multimedia ads. As for some of the standard size (e.g. 468×60) banners, the general (viewing) perception is that it is an area that one needs to scroll and skip.
Looking at the ad trends and the insights from the surveys like the one I am talking about, it is very clear that web ads are generally meant for the younger generation. You might find some success if you run a gadget or computer related product’s campaign on the web but the success rate may not be the same with products for other age groups. This also gives some hints for making money online. Probably the niches that will fetch you more PPC/AdSense income will be those niches where the relevant products or services are preferred more by the younger generation. The very fact that the overall market share of online ads is just around 7% gives you an opportunity to potentially make money online but at the same time it is a risky medium to depend on as well.