You Have To Get Up Pretty Early To Sell Anything

Consumers are most receptive to online advertisers from 3 to 6 a.m. according to a new study. That data must be of immense interest to the handful of people who are actually up at that time of the day, which this new research from YuMe also confirms is a very, very small group.

Remember in Catch-22 that you could only have an office visit with Major Major if he was not there. Well, the YuMe study is a little like that. It charts out the time consumers are least receptive to advertising is during those times of the day they are most likely to be viewing online video.

Or to use another well known analogy, part of the caption of the famed New Yorkercartoon by Bob Mankoff seems to fit, too: “How about never--is never good for you?”

The message seems to be: Please, don’t bother me. But the message apparently also is, you can bother me in the wee hours of the morning because at that time the bombardment of messages has not become totally overwhelming.  

Viewers of ads in early hours show a 17% higher favorability toward advertisers compared to a control group, a 12% higher recommendation intent and an 11% higher purchase intent, the highest in all those categories among different day part. In fact the least impactful were ads seen in the heart of the business day and prime time.



Things don’t start picking up again until after 9 p.m. but at nowhere the level of the morning numbers, from 3 a.m. to noon.

The YuMe study is part of its Publisher’s Guide to the Universe, and for this part of it, YuMe sampled 7,000 participants asked to put down in a diary their viewing experience from the day before. A second part picked on 3,600 participants to look deeper at what kinds of ads they watch and how they most like to receive them. 

It has a lot of useful things that make you go hmmm. Like: Millennials watch in greater numbers in the early evening, around 5 or 6 p.m., then flat line until after 9, when things spike dramatically.

That morning receptivity to ads is true for all ad groups. But attitudes change by time of day and age group. Overall, baby boomers are the least receptive to ads, and this YuMe study, specifically, warns that at just about 11 a.m., it looks like baby boomers just can’t be sold anything.

Conversely, Gen Xers from 35-40 are the most agreeable lot throughout the whole day, on average more receptive than any other age group. From 5 to 6 a.m., it appears they will agree to almost anything. (I exaggerate only for sparkling copy.)

As you might expect, smartphones are popular devices during the day, especially at lunch hours, but tablets and connected TVs rule in the evening. But receptivity to ads, for millennials, peaks in prime time on smartphones, though like every other age group, the
thrust of viewing is moving toward tablets, laptops or connected TVs.

The rest of the study slices and dices all kinds of variables--what kinds of ads find receptive audiences, what kind of shows age groups like most (millennials are suckers for comedy), and what type of content can offer ads with less disastrous results.

Two highlights: One 30-second commercial is comfortable for online viewers, and far better than a bunch of messages that add up to 30 seconds. And 52% of the participants in this study don’t like ads that interrupt programming, or mid-roll. Unfortunately, in the future, 52% of people are going to be irritated fairly often.
1 comment about "You Have To Get Up Pretty Early To Sell Anything".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, November 6, 2016 at 5:27 p.m.

    A news target audience segment - the totally bored rigid.

    I suppose it comes down to efficiency versus effectiveness, and I know which cam I am in.

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