Video Essentials

Where Do Viewers Trust the Ads? Study Reveals the Missing Factor


With the upfronts and newfronts right around the corner, market research firm GfK is asking an important question: Who do viewers trust?

With today’s targeted advertising focused on reaching in-demo viewers on any screen, it’s a question worth asking. In light of YouTube’s recent problems, advertisers need to remember that ad context matters.

GfK studied viewer feelings about 150 networks and the ads that appear on them. It found that the most trusted networks don’t always produce the most-trusted ads.

News networks earned the highest consumer trust, with 49 percent of their viewers saying they strongly trust the news networks they watch. How-to networks came next with 48 percent, followed by Spanish-language networks at 45 percent.

However, when GfK asked about viewer trust it found 48 percent of Spanish-language network viewers expressed trust in the networks’ ads. That’s higher than the number of viewers who trust the network content! That was followed by news and kids/family networks tied at 31 percent, and how-to networks at 30 percent.

Spanish-language networks also earned top scores for providing a sense of community and keeping the viewer engaged.

“Ad buyers are frustrated that they can’t get a true read on which networks earn the strongest viewer trust, and the extent to which this trust impacts their ad messages,” says Lisa Tyler, vice president of media and entertainment sales for GfK MRI. “Similarly, networks are concerned that buyers are not considering the relationship they have built with their viewers, and buyers are making investment decisions based purely on behavioral data. This study reveals the relationships viewers have with each network, and how levels of trust, community, and relevancy change when you look past age and gender, and into product users, buying styles, and lifestyles.”

Some good news for streaming video advertisers: GfK found that viewers using streaming services and internet-connected devices show more trust in the ads they see. Trust in streaming sports and broadcast networks was especially high.

The numbers come from a GfK MRI online study of 10,000 consumers.




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