Why Mark Ritson’s Wrong On People Hating Ads

Why Mark Ritson’s Wrong On People Hating Ads
SHARE
THIS



Julian Major (pictured below) is a consumer insights and market research professional. He’s also the head of consumer insights at Visit Victoria. In this guest post, Major dissects Professor Mark Ritson’s recent claims that “people hate ads” and finds himself vehemently in the “disagree” camp…

As is usually the case, I highly enjoyed Mark Ritson’s entertaining read on why ‘people hate ads’.

Marketers are a highly unrepresentative group of individuals. We all operate in our own ‘bubble’ which skews our view of the world, but this a huge issue for marketers, considering what they are meant to produce. Below is one of my favourite charts that shows how the world of marketers is so drastically different from the ‘average’ person.

0

 

Advertising is not as important to consumers as it is marketers. That is a valuable and important message that marketers must understand. And there is a salient point embedded in Ritson’s article; if we don’t understand how consumers see advertising, we risk getting it all horribly wrong.

svod behaviour

But do people really hate advertising?

Ritson’s own evidence via Kantar does not say people “hate” advertising, rather a large proportion of the market “dislike it generally”. A decent proportion actually admit to liking it generally. That’s largely my experience in testing and tracking advertising.

Attitudes-to-ads (1)

 

My personal view would be that people’s attitudes towards advertising ranges from annoyance to ambivalence. Consumers are also fantastic at filtering out the thousands of advertising messages that they are exposed to each day. If we really did “hate” advertising with a passion, it would send us all insane. But we all have bigger issues to deal with in life compared to advertising.

And while few will say they “love” advertising, we can all remember specific ads that makes us feel good, laugh or learn something new. The latest Westpac brand ad is a great local example.

But why does this matter? Is “hate” versus “generally dislike” just semantics?

Well, again, if we do not understand the role that advertising plays in people’s lives, marketers can produce bad work. I recently saw a response to Ritson’s article that suggested that because people hate advertising, we should use more product placements instead of ‘traditional’ advertising, or use strategies that are less invasive. Now, I am not suggesting that product placement strategies are bad, but if we convince ourselves that consumers hate advertising, then we risk jumping to the conclusion of “why bother”, or that we should create advertising that just does not get in the way. But cutting through and gaining attention is a fundamental principle of advertising effectiveness.

We also need to have a more nuanced understanding of how advertising fits into consumers life’s. We know advertising receives different levels of attention, depending on the channel it is put into. When we watch television, we largely accept that advertising is part of the experience. When we are scrolling through social media, we largely do so out of boredom. When we are on a desktop computer, we are often goal-driven. This all effects the likelihood that advertising will cut through and determine its effectiveness.

We can never forget that emotive and likeable advertising works. Most case studies of effective brand-building campaigns are incredibly ambitious. Take the lauded John Lewis Christmas ads. Those do not look like ads where the creatives were consistently telling themselves that people hate what they do. We need to understand the consumer but we can not be tricked into becoming less bold.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Julian Major mark ritson

Latest News

Eyeota Enhances Reach And Targeting Precision For RDA Research
  • Marketing

Eyeota Enhances Reach And Targeting Precision For RDA Research

Leading Australian market research data brand, RDA Research, provides actionable consumer intelligence to help businesses inform decision making and growth strategies. RDA Research wanted to make its unique consumer data available for addressable digital targeting and required a data onboarding partner to help activate their data in an online environment.

Enthral Strengthens Journalistic DNA By Hiring Channel 7 Reporter Sean Sowerby
  • Media

Enthral Strengthens Journalistic DNA By Hiring Channel 7 Reporter Sean Sowerby

Storytelling agency Enthral has appointed Channel 7 reporter and sports presenter Sean Sowerby as its new senior PR and content manager in Melbourne. Sowerby (pictured) started his award-winning career at 3AW before spending more than 15 years in television. Enthral founder and manager director, Cameron Smith, spoke of the significance of Sowerby joining the agency. […]

Blis Puts Its CEO In The Desert In Clever New “Data Drought” Ad
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Blis Puts Its CEO In The Desert In Clever New “Data Drought” Ad

Ever since Google first announced it would be getting rid of third-party cookies on Chrome, digital advertising businesses have been actively sharing their plans for life after cookies. And now programmatic advertising company Blis might have come up with the most creative way to get the message across, in a new video which sees company […]

Agency Icon Sweeps The SABRE Awards
  • Marketing
  • Media

Agency Icon Sweeps The SABRE Awards

Integrated Melbourne agency Icon has taken top honours in the 2021 SABRE Awards, winning the coveted Australasian Consultancy of the Year for 2021 along with a host of category and craft awards. Icon led a large field of Australian agencies with a total of three major and seven minor awards, including gold in the cause-related […]

Former Agency Execs Launch Car Service Summon
  • Marketing
  • Media

Former Agency Execs Launch Car Service Summon

Former agency executives Tim O’Neill and Tim Fouhy have launched the auto technology startup Summon. Australia’s first full e-commerce service for prestige cars. O’Neill and Fouhy both founded Reactive, a digital agency, which was bought by Accenture in 2016. Following the deal, O’Neill and Fouhy ended up leading the company’s digital marketing arm, Accenture Interactive before […]