A study done by Professors Kent Grayson (Northwestern) and Mathew Isaac (Seattle University) surveyed 400 participants regarding 20 common tactics used in television and digital ads. Thirteen of the tactics elicited favorable responses, which surprised even marketers.
Grayson said, “People have said, ‘I don’t trust advertising.’ The truth is, there is a lot of advertising that they do trust.”
Certain tactics, such as offering to match a competitor’s low prices, or mentioning a recent ranking by a third-party source, received the most positive reactions from participants. Others, like using paid actors instead of real people, or even hiring celebrity endorsers to express their affinity for a product, came off as “deceptive” or “manipulative,” according to those surveyed.
An important point, Isaac said, is that consumer disbelief about certain tactics can also be fluid. Some approaches deemed disreputable a few years ago could become more widely accepted. Product placements and native advertising—packaged to look like journalism—are two examples.
Zach Schonbrun. Consumers May Be More Trusting of Ads Than Marketers Think. The New York Times.