Do Adverts Influence What We Buy?

We are bombarded by advertisements everywhere we look, from the signage in shops, billboards by the side of roads to the growing number of adverts before the trailers begin when we go to the cinema. Now we don’t even need to leave the house to be enveloped by adverts. As well as the adverts that are shown during breaks on television, the growing popularity and access to the internet makes this the new vehicle for organisations to advertise to consumers.

The question is, are adverts really that effective when it comes to influencing our decision to purchase products? In order to find out how adverts have impacted the UK’s decision to buy, Hyperfine Media have conducted a survey asking 1000 people across the UK asking ‘where did you see the last advert that made you buy a product?’.

Surprisingly 48.7%, almost half of the respondents who took part in the survey, couldn’t actually remember the last time they made the decision to buy a product after seeing an advert. The survey did however identify the channels where adverts have resulted in a purchase. Below is a breakdown of the top responses.

Top Responses:

TV 16.5%
Desktop 12.3%
Mobile 7.5%
Magazine 5.9%
Tablet 5.9%
Cinema 3.1%

The survey reveals that adverts featured on television still has the most influence over our decision to purchase. This is unsurprising as television is a medium that is actively consumed by many individuals on a daily basis. The most interesting outcome of the survey is the fact that adverts on the internet (on both desktop and mobile) are not only catching up with television, but they are also overtaking outlets such as the cinema and magazines.

In order to see how channels effect the public’s decision to buy according to gender, we have outlined the top responses for males and females below.

Results by gender:

TV 15.3%
Desktop 16.1%
Mobile 7.5%

TV 17.7%
Desktop 8.5%
Mobile 7.5%

TV, desktop and mobile are the top channels for both genders, but clear differences can be seen in the response ratios. For example TV is still the top response, but there are a higher percentage of females who bought products due to TV advertisements compared to tier male counterparts. Equally, desktop is the second highest response, but there are far more males who have purchased products due to online adverts than females.

As well as breaking down the results by gender, we have also looked into the trends that have been outlined by the different age groups who took part in the survey.

Results by age:

18-24 15.6%
25-34 18.9%
35-44 17.8%
45-54 20.7%
55-64 11.1%
65+ 11.9%

18-24 19.7%
25-34 15.9%
35-44 7.1%
45-54 10.0%
55-64 6.8%
65+ 14.3%

As with the gender breakdown, TV and desktop adverting are the top two responses. Television adverts are popular amongst all of the age demographics, but it is clear that younger respondents between the ages of 18 to 24 years are more influenced by online adverts.

The rise in ecommerce sites as well as our increased access to the internet on mobile devices have resulted in more sales on mobile compared to desktop for many businesses. This shift in consumer behaviour is reflected in the survey data. Organisations should start to rethink their advertising budget in order to maximise on the potential and reach of online advertising for their marketing campaigns.

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