Content Ads Survey: Sponsored Content Mostly Seen as Regular Advertising

For years, advertisers have been working on new ways for making ads blend in with content. Now some agencies are aiming to make video ads that blend in with other content online, as opposed to the ads that play before videos on sites like YouTube. But what do American consumers think about content ads and would they rather see those ads or more traditional types of advertising?

content ads

Content Ads

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 25% of consumers said they often run into ads that are made to blend in with the content of whatever media they’re in. Another 49% said they sometimes run into these types of ads. 12% said they rarely see ads that are made to look like content. And 14% said they never see ads that try to blend in with content.

In general, just 11% of consumers who have run across these ads say that they like them and think they are effective. 67% said they think these types of ads can be somewhat effective. And 22% of consumers said they don’t think content ads are effective at all.


24% of respondents who have come across content ads said they are more likely to read, watch, or otherwise consume the information contained in those ads than they are with other types of advertising. 25% said they are less likely to read or watch ads that try to look like unsponsored content. And 52% said they are just as likely to act on content advertising as they are with any other type of ad. Respondents under 35 were 5% more likely to say they would rather read or watch content ads, and 4% less likely to say that they avoid content ads.

Video Ads

18% of respondents said they always run into ads when they watch online videos. 36% said they run into ads most of the time. 23% said they see video ads about half the time. 10% said they rarely see ads before online videos. 9% said they never see ads when they watch videos online. And 6% said they don’t ever watch videos online.

Only 6% of the viewers who come across ads before videos said they like the ads and think they are effective. 40% said they think those ads can be somewhat effective. 25% said they are not effective at all. And 30% said that those types of ads impact the user experience negatively, to the point where they now watch online videos less often.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Can A Computer Make You Cry? from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on September 27 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.