Over-targeting of advertising putting industry at risk, claims new Kantar study

[SHANGHAI, April 9th 2019] Kantar, the world's leading data, insights and consulting company has today released its annual study exploring some of the media industry's biggest planning, buying and measurement issues.

Now in its third year, DIMENSION combines the twin perspectives of leading industry practitioners from the likes of P&G, Nestlé, Coca Cola, Sky and Facebook with those of connected consumers* in five of the world’s largest advertising markets.

The 2019 study explores some of the major considerations for brands, media owners and agencies as they seek to win in the age of authenticity. Some of the key findings include:
  1. Ad-blocking peaks – but it’s here to stay. Ad blocking may have reached its zenith, with 21% of connected consumers claiming to use ad blocking remaining steady for the last three consecutive years. Whilst it might not be something that keeps advertisers up at night it does present a real danger for the sustainability of online advertising in the future. 
  2. Advertising is losing its potency as 3 in 10 consumers (31%) consider it as a go-to place for information on brands. Instead consumers continue to turn to social media (42%) and friends and family (53%), forms generally accepted as word of mouth influenced by what others hear, read and see. 
  3. Ads must be transparent - With growing consumer understanding and awareness of data privacy and usage issues, transparency is essential. Two-thirds of consumers believe it is important to label paid-for communication forms (such as advertising) as ads. 
  4. Consumer trust in earned media (PR) messages depends on the source – the DIMENSION Trust Index finds that newspaper and magazines articles (53%) are more trusted by consumers than other media forms. Brands and their agencies need to be wary that their investments and efforts may have swung too far online. In an age of increasing distrust in the media, an integrated and authentic media & comms strategy, online and offline is fundamental.
  5. Brands need to demonstrate authenticity, transparency and openness in their online communications – with 44% of connected consumers saying their opinion on brands are influenced by what they read online and so the risk and opportunity riding on every fact of a brand’s communication increases. 
  6. Content drives consumer choice in a growing, but partial picture of TV & video subscriber behaviour. Quality content unavailable elsewhere is the primary driver (51%) for consumers adopting the rise of subscription services. Yet a partial view of audiences risks reducing marketing effectiveness. Whilst first party data has great depth, it's narrow. Subscription platforms need a "view over the wall" to understand and target new subscribers.
Commenting on the release of DIMENSION 2019, Andy Brown, CEO of Kantar’s Media Division stated, “This year's study highlights the importance that consumers place on honesty and authenticity, as well as the risks to brands that step out of line. DIMENSION 2019 underlines our commitment to support marketers by delivering connected intelligence that enables an holistic understanding of consumers.”

About Kantar:

Kantar is the world's leading data, insights and consulting company. We understand more about how people think, feel, shop, share, vote and view than anyone else. Combining our expertise in human understanding with advanced technologies, Kantar's 30,000 people help the world's leading organisations succeed and grow.

Editors Notes

*DIMENSION Methodology: We interviewed 5,000 connected consumers across five of the world’s largest communication markets (Brazil, China, France, UK and the US – 1,000 consumers in each). Connected consumers are defined as those 18 years+ who use at least two of the following devices connected to the internet: PC, laptop, smart TV, smart speaker/voice-activated device, personal tablet or smartphone. The data produced is not, though, comparable with any data gathered from a sample designed to be representative of a total adult population. Consumer interviews were conducted online using the CAWI technique between 9-24 October 2018. A full fieldwork report, complete with methodology and country data, is available from www.kantarmedia.com/dimension.
We also interviewed 58 industry practitioners to elicit their opinions and perspectives in the same five markets. These included senior figures from brands, agencies, media and platform owners, trade bodies, consultants and adtech businesses, and were conducted with a series of roundtable discussions or in-depth 1:1 interviews moderated by a Kantar employee. Where quotes from these roundtables and interviews have been attributed, they have been approved for use by the individual concerned.
Kantar's DIMENSION study is available as three standalone reports: 
  • Balancing the Brand Scales
  • Authentic Communication in a Mistrusting World
  • Audiences, Advertisers & Apps 
To learn more about the DIMENSION study and read the reports in full, please visit kantar.com/DIMENSION