Over-targeted advertising is increasing consumer apathy toward brands: report

Darts dart board targetThe advertising industry’s approach to retargeting could be proving detrimental to the effectiveness of campaigns with consumers increasingly feeling apathetic toward, and mistrusting of, advertising.

According to Kantar’s latest Dimension report, 56 per cent UK consumers object to over-targeting, while 55 per cent are completely apathetic toward advertising content – increasing from 53 per cent in 2018.

The study, which surveyed 5,000 connected consumers in five markets with a combined total ad spend of $352bn, also revealed that 73 per cent of UK consumers claim to see the same ads over and over again. And, perhaps a little more damaging, only 11 per cent say they enjoy advertising.

“If brands and advertisers are going to rebuild – and retain – the trust of their audiences, we need to see more responsible use of data across the industry. By adopting an integrated approach, balancing niche targeting capabilities with mass marketing tactics, brands can provide consumers with a helpful, additive experience,” said Mark Inskip, CEO of Kantar UK & Ireland’s media division. “Those who are building verified first-party data into their approach and, where possible, that of walled garden platforms are able to paint a complete picture of the total consumer journey across all media.”

The number of UK consumers using adblocking software has remained flat at 22 per cent for the last two year, but people are now finding other ways around advertising. 44 per cent of UK consumers are paying for a TV or video subscription and 17 per cent pay for an audio or music service – both of which ensure the user experiences an ad-free experience.

Of those subscribing to a TV or video streaming service, 52 per cent identify the content as being the main reason for paying. However, a growing number of people (36 per cent) are now subscribing to avoid being targeted by advertising, up from 31 per cent last year.

“At a time when consumers are becoming ever savvier towards advertising, the focus for the industry needs to be on creating content that really resonates with audiences and makes an impact,” said Inskip. “Already, we are seeing some brands taking steps in the right direction, and ultimately the ones who come out on top will be those who are able to create compelling content that’s shared in an appropriate context and accurately measured, to optimise performance.”