A new report published by Nielsen, analyzing the various ad types, indicates that while newer types of advertising are gaining trust among consumers, the most trusted form of advertising of all time is still the original – word-of-mouth. A total of 84% of respondents polled in the Nielsen survey stated that they most trust a recommendation provided by an individual that they actually know, up from 78% in 2007.
Since this form of advertising has existed since the dawn of the rating agencies, such a significant upswing would suggest consumers are becoming more trusting of advertising in general.
Branded Websites? Trustworthy. Mobile Text Ads? Not So Much.
Aside from word-of-mouth recommendations, consumers put more stock in branded websites (69%) than in any other form of advertising, up from 60% in 2007. The type of ad performing the worst in terms of consumer trust was text ads on mobile phones, which only 37% of consumers take seriously. Still, trust in these types of ads more than doubled since 2007, when just 18% said the same.
Online video ads, social network ads, mobile display ads and online banner adds also ranked lowly in consumer trust, gaining less than 48% of the survey group’s confidence for each. Ads delivered within search engine results are also only trusted by 48% of consumers, though this has risen considerably from 34% in 2007.
More traditional types of advertising did a little better overall, such as product placements in TV programs (55%), ads before movies (56%), radio ads (57%), billboards (57%), magazine ads (60%), newspaper ads (61%), brand sponsorships (61%) and television ads (62%). Strangely, however, newspaper ads were the only ad type to actually lose consumer confidence since 2007, when the figure stood at 63%. When the newspaper ad comes in the form of an editorial, more consumers (67%) trust the information included therein.
The survey also found that consumers really care about online reviews posted by their peers, as 68% of respondents said they trust consumer opinions posted online – just 1% lower than the chunk of survey takers who said they trust branded websites.