What Kinds of Advertising Do Consumers Trust the Most?

Nielsen Study Polls People in 58 Countries

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Here is some good news for marketers: More consumers trust advertising compared with six years ago, according to a new report from Nielsen that polled people in 58 countries.

While word-of-mouth recommendations remain a brand's best friend by far, confidence in various forms of paid advertising are up across the board, with the exception of newspaper advertising, which fell slightly, according to the "Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages" report.

TV ads earned the trust of 62% of consumers, which is up from 56% in 2007. (The percentages show the number of people who "completely" or "somewhat" trust ads.) While trust in newspaper advertising fell by two percentage points to 61%, it still outranks magazines (60%) and various forms of digital advertising, including social networks (48%). The good news for digital is that trust is rising. Trust in online banner ads, for instance, jumped to 42% of consumers from 26% in 2007.

The survey is based on 29,000 internet respondents in 58 countries, measuring 19 forms of paid, earned and owned ad formats.

The report also measured what style of advertising works best: Humor led the pack with 47% of respondents saying it resonated the most, followed by "real-life situations" (46%), and "family-oriented" (38%). A note to Super Bowl advertisers who seem to be turning to animals more: Pets and animal ads only resonated the most with 18% of respondents. But furry creatures still ranked ahead of celebrities and athletes, who scored 12% and 8%, respectively.

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