Fresh poll results from CivicScience suggest the needle may be moving when it comes to how in touch digital ads are with consumers, as well as how likely consumers are to respond to them.

January data shows that a total of 41% of U.S. adults feel the majority of digital ads they see are at least ‘somewhat’ relevant to their interests (n=2,708). This is up six percentage points from March 2022 and 11 percentage points from March 2021. Given the slow rate of change tracked over the years by CivicScience, this growth is not insignificant. 

Reported digital ad relevance among the Gen Pop is an average heavily influenced by adults 35 and over – less than 3% of these adults find digital ads to be ‘very relevant.’ Contrast that with adults under 35, who are five to six times more likely to see ads that are ‘very relevant.’ What’s more, relevance has increased year-to-year for Gen Z adults (18-24) and young Millennials (25-34), both of whom are more likely to say digital ads are ‘very’ and ‘somewhat’ relevant to them today. Young adults are clearly more tuned in with the ads they see, whereas older consumers are largely not.

Ad Relevance Growing Among Social Media Users

The question is, are targeted digital ads becoming more relevant to younger adults, or is the increase in relevance (and clicks) being driven by changes in usage of ad-based digital media? 

For one, past data show that a growing number of digital video streamers are divvying up streaming among a variety of different platforms. At the same time, the video streaming space is becoming more diversified with ad-supported tiers, all bringing in more ad-viewing opportunities. And September 2022 findings show that video streamers are more likely to subscribe to ad-supported streaming plans than ad-free plans.

What about social media? Unsurprisingly, social media users are more than twice as likely as non-users to say the majority of digital ads they see are relevant to them. Overall relevance rose among social media users, increasing six percentage points from Q1 of last year while remaining the same for non-users.

Drilling down further, a look at top social media platforms shows that ads today are most relevant to TikTok users by far, followed by Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Those who say ads are at least ‘somewhat relevant’ to them have grown across all platform users since March 2022; however, the change varies. For example, the percentage of TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook users who say ads they see are ‘very relevant’ has decreased.

What About Clicks? 

Clicks are up this year as well. Those who say they are likely to click on a digital ad relevant to their interests has increased since March 2021, from 43% to 56%. 

The increase in engagement with relevant advertising shows the need to understand consumers’ changing behavior and preferences, which can prove challenging for marketers without the right tools. 

Rulo, a CivicScience company, curates audience segments with the latest CivicScience insights to help businesses understand and reach their audiences in real-time. Contact us at to learn more.