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What consumers want - and don't want - to see in online advertising
10 January 2021 (Edited )
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People say they respond most to upbeat ads with emotional resonance

Consumers want to see emotionally upbeat ads

New research by marketing software developers Allocadia finds that consumers respond most to emotionally upbeat ads, and least to ads that remind them of challenges they're facing in their lives.

Most-liked ads reflect:

  • Inspiration, cited by 42% of survey respondents
  • Joy (40%)
  • Love (38%)
  • Hope (34%)

Least-liked ads were those that incite:

  • Fear (8%)
  • Anger (8%)
  • Sadness (7%)
  • Annoyance (6%)

And 73% of respondents said they want brands to incorporate more diversity into their ad campaigns.

Media with most influence on consumption:

  1. TV commercials, cited by 54%
  2. Social media ads (36%)
    • 50% said social media ads give them gift ideas.
    • 44% said social media ads remind them of things they want to buy for themselves
  3. Radio (15%)


  • Once again, researchers find that emotion, not logic, drives consumer behavior.
  • Unfortunately, Allocadia hasn't released any information on the size or the demographic or geographic composition of the survey sample, or dates when data were collected. But results are still qualitatively useful.
  • Not unexpectedly, survey results reflect current events. Advertisers need to act on these findings now before media attention shifts.
  • Paid search is a good choice of medium for fast response to breaking trends.
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