What can you say about a study that suggests nearly 1/3 of consumers say the media are of no help in making purchase decisions?
This reminds me of the focus group I did years ago where one respondent was stalwart in his assertion that brands were meaningless to him. He bought stuff on the basis of quality and quality alone, not based on the way things were portrayed in the media or, God forbid, advertising. Meanwhile, his clothing – from head to toe – was branded. And he wouldn't know "quality" if it tapped him on the shoulder and introduced itself by name.
The Harris survey in question indicated that not only do folks lie about the effects of the media on their purchase decisions (knowingly or unknowingly), but it also ranked media advertising according to its "easy to ignore" factor.
The result? Adults ignore radio commercials less than Internet or TV ads, says Inside Radio. That would be the "good" news. But on the flip side, consumers find radio ads "less helpful" than those in any other category but Internet banner ads – a fast diminishing point of comparison, indeed.
The bottom line on this study and those like it is that it's patently impossible to ask folks their "opinions" of how advertising affects them when much of the affect of advertising is non-specific or cumulative or subconscious or all of the above.
This is, after all, not a study that tracks stimulus to response with actual measurements of impact. It's simply a dumb opinion study about a topic that's better analyzed with real data, not opinions.
Users of radio advertising know that advertising works. And don't let any half-baked PR study tell you or your clients otherwise.