CivicScience | Ads Alongside Political Content Only Minimally Affect Perception of Brands

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Ads Alongside Political Content Only Minimally Affect Perception of Brands

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The closer we get to voting day the more political content seems to be popping up across the internet. Emotions are high and opinions are vehemently shared and argued, so it is natural to think that certain types of content might be triggering to different people. CivicScience surveyed U.S. adults to see if the political content they consume somehow influences how they might perceive an ad simultaneously served.

Survey respondents were asked to imagine how they would feel if a brand was advertised alongside a news article or webpage about political issues or the election.

Americans have spoken: the majority (49%) say they would not feel any differently towards a brand if they were served one of its ads while consuming political content. Now, there is a hefty 11% who say they would like said brand less, but that is the smallest group of respondents.

Almost a quarter weren’t sure what they would think in this hypothetical scenario. Perhaps it would depend on what exactly they were reading and which brand they saw an ad for, but ultimately the data reveal advertisers can breathe a little easier over the next few weeks.

Looking closely at those who say they would automatically like a brand less should it appear next to political content seem to be more brand-centric consumers. They report favoring brand over price while shopping more than any group of respondents.

Political leaning did show minor differences in responses. Conservative respondents were the most likely to report an ad served next to political content wouldn’t change how they perceived the brand advertised. Liberals, less so. Liberals showed a greater likelihood to say “if the article upset me, I would like the advertised brand less.”

No matter what you read or where you read it, it’s likely ads will find you. While there are some people who will reject a brand based on what they are reading when they see its ad, most people aren’t affected by ad placement at all.

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