A third of British consumers (33%) say they need to see an advert ‘up to five times’ before they feel positive about a brand.

While consumers report being ‘frustrated’ by the amount of ads they view online, a nation-wide survey by performance marketing company Criteo identified how Brits respond positively to personalisation, repetition and colour.


Consumers have a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to brand advertising, says Criteo, and while it’s not always positive, brands can leverage from consumers’ quick judgements by making sure ads are highly targeted.

The survey found 1 in 10 of 16-24 year olds only need to see an ad once to feel ‘positive’, while a third of over-45s take an average of 2-5 times before an ad resonates positively.

And more than any other age group, nearly a quarter of 25-34 year olds have made a purchase straight from an ad and would do it again.

Gender plays a role here as well, with men more likely to feel ‘extremely negative’ almost instantly, compared to less than 10 percent of women – and women are also more likely to be attracted to colour-rich advertisements (22%) than men (15%).

Seeing red

Criteo’s managing director of Northern Europe, Jon Buss, comments that snap reactions are forcing marketers to think more carefully about what they put in front of the consumer, and apply new strategies to appeal to their target audience.

“Age, gender and demographic, coupled with advances in technology, have formed the basics of targeted advertising, but with the industry hitting saturation point, brands need to start adopting neuroscience and personalisation techniques to appeal to the individual’s subconscious and emotional triggers,” he commented.

Nearly a quarter of UK adults, for example, said the colour red is most effective in attracting their attention, and it’s a shade commonly used by brands to promote sales or offers.

With 40% of e-commerce transactions now involving more than one device, the customer path to purchase is becoming more complex, says Buss.

“Brand marketers are under an increasing amount of pressure to know their consumers inside and out.”

Targeted advertising cannot rely on advances in technology and data analytics, he argues, and brands may start to employ neuroscience techniques for effective ad personalisation to ensure they are delivered in a way that resonates with consumers.