American Marketer


Affluent consumers have 61pc digital ad engagement: study

August 2, 2011

Gucci's banner ad for its click-to-buy video on


Affluent consumers are much more likely to respond to banner, Web, video, smartphone and social media ads than less-affluent consumers, according to study findings from Interactive Advertising Bureau and Ipsos Mendelsohn.

Not only do affluent consumers spend more time online, 61 percent of affluent consumers take action when they see a digital ad. Taking action could mean as little as clicking on the ad or going all the way through to making a purchase.

“One of the best ways to get to affluent consumers is through digital media, both between use and follow-up activity that they report responding to digital advertising,” said Sherrill Mane, senior vice president of industry services at IAB, New York. “This is especially because they are hard to reach in other media.

“The evidence in the study is very clear,” she said. “The affluent consumer spends more time using digital media than non-affluents, and they do pay attention to other media such as television, radio and read certain print publications.

“However, if you want to get to them in a unique, more relevant and more individualized experience, digital media is the way to do it, because you won’t find it in other mass media. And digital is now a mass-media.”

Heeling feedback

Affluent consumers are also more likely than their less-affluent counterparts to recall ads.

In fact, 88 percent of affluent consumers recalled being exposed to one or more digital ads during the previous week and 21.1 ads, on average, compared to 84 percent of non-affluent consumers who only recalled 20.2 ads, on average.

These types of ads include Web and banner, email, smartphone, search and sponsored, social media and video.

The most commonly interacted with are search and sponsored ads and video ads at 41 percent each.


Oscar de la Renta has a video ad on

Video and banner ads are the most likely to drive purchase from luxury consumers, visit the advertiser’s Web site, search for information about the product or service online or visit the retail location.

Consumers are also likely to share an ad via social media, like the brand on Twitter or interact with the brand via email, text message or telephone, according to the study.

Luxury brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior and Calvin Klein have already seen the benefits of video ads on (see story).


Chart of most-acted-upon ads from IAB and Ipsos Mendelsohn

Email ads and banner ads followed at 37 percent reaction, social media ads at 28 percent and smartphone ads at 17 percent.

This is relatively consistent with the amount of ad exposure for affluent consumers. The first are Web and banner ads, to which 76 percent of affluent consumers were exposed.

The second most-seen were search ads at 72 percent, email ads at 71 percent, video ads at 62 percent, social media ads at 59 percent and smartphone ads at 39 percent.

Heavy lifting

Affluent consumers are more likely to be aware of new products, new companies and new Web sites after viewing digital ads, per the study.

Indeed, 79 percent of upscale consumers attested that their lives were intertwined with technology.

Ninety-nine percent of the affluent market use the Internet, as compared with 79 percent of the general population.


Affluents online and in other media

Furthermore, that group spends 26.2 hours online weekely, whereas the other group spends just 21.7 hours on the Internet.

“Affluent consumers, who are the hardest to reach through mass media such as radio and television, are the biggest users of the Internet,” Ms. Mane said.

“What is most fascinating to me is the affluent, which you would imagine to be the most skeptical of advertising, are more receptive to it on the Internet,” she said.

Moreover, affluent consumers are less likely to watch television and listen to the radio.

Therefore, it is likely that digital ads are the most effective in reaching this highly-specific group of individuals.

This bodes well for luxury brands, as these types of marketers typically want to spend their ad dollars on a specific group of individuals who can afford their products.

“Affluent consumers are very tech-savvy,” said Steve Kraus, San Francisco-based chief research and insights officer at Ipsos Mendelsohn.

“This group is completely intertwined with digital, and I think that they, more than anyone else, are understanding the ability of digital media, and are seeing the potential usage of digital advertising,” he said.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York