The most credible form of advertising comes straight from people we know and trust. Eighty-five per cent of UAE online respondents say they trust the recommendations of friends and family, according to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report. This level increased one percentage point from 2013 (84 per cent).
Earned online channels are also among the most trusted advertising formats. Trust in advertising on editorial content, such as newspaper articles, increased four percentage points to 75 per cent in 2015 as the second-most-trusted format, remaining in second place from 2013.
Seventy-four per cent of UAE survey respondents indicate that they trust consumer opinions posted online, which rates third in 2015, up seven percentage points from 2013. In addition, almost three quarters of UAE respondents (72 per cent) trust branded websites, a level that is up 2 percentage points from 2013.
While there isn’t one simple rule for maximizing advertising effectiveness in a saturated market, understanding how consumers feel about the ads served on the various media platforms they use every day is a good place to start.
“Word of Mouth (WOM) plays a very vital role in the consumers’ decision making process. With the explosion of social media – especially in Middle East – the importance and efficacy of WOM has increased greatly,” so Arslan Ashraf, managing director Nielsen Arabian Peninsula.
“Nevertheless traditional means of advertising are still highly relevant and should not be ignored at this juncture. Their relevance in relation to WOM activity is key to understand and utilize.”
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries to gauge consumer sentiment in 19 forms of paid, earned and owned advertising mediums. The results identify the ad formats resonating most strongly with consumers and those that have room to grow.
Despite continued media fragmentation, the proliferation of online formats has not eroded trust in traditional (offline) paid channels. TV, newspapers and magazines remain trusted advertising formats.
Seven-in-10 UAE respondents say they completely or somewhat trust ads (70 per cent), up one percentage point from 2013. Slightly fewer trust ads in radio and ads in TV (both 67 per cent), which increased four and three percentage points, respectively, from two years ago.
Trust in paid online and mobile ads has stayed relatively consistent since 2013. More than half of UAE respondents say they completely or somewhat trust online videos ads (57 per cent, up eleven percentage points from 2013), ads served in search engine results (54 per cent, up eight percentage points) and ads on social networks (59 per cent, up eight percentage points). Fifty-five of UAE respondents trust online banner ads (up 10 percentage points) and mobile advertising (54 per cent, up six percentage points).
The research shows that trust and action are clearly linked, but credibility is not always a prerequisite to purchase intent. Even lower-trust formats can be extremely effective in driving consumers to the point of purchase.
The same percentage of UAE respondents that trust the opinions of friends and family says they take action on these opinions at least some of the time (85 per cent trust; 87 per cent take action).
For many paid advertising formats, however, self-reported action actually exceeds trust. That is, more consumers say they take action than find the ad trustworthy.
This is particularly true for online and mobile formats. Self-reported action exceeds trust by more than double digits for ads served in search engine results (54 per cent trust; 66 per cent take action), ads on social media (59 per cent trust; 70 per cent take action) and text ads on mobile phones (50 per cent trust; 64 per cent take action).
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