Affluent
US adults with household income of at least $75,000 (“upscale Americans”) are more likely to have seen or heard a range of advertising forms than the average American adult, details the Shullman Research Center in a comprehensive survey examining 40 different advertising channels. However, despite their increased reach, these channels don’t always garner a higher amount of interest from upscale adults.

Top Ad Channels To Reach the Affluent

The survey first asked respondents to indicate where they had seen or heard advertising during the prior 30 days, finding that the top 5 advertising channels among upscale adults by reach are:

  • TV (65%, versus 62% adult average);
  • Facebook (48% vs. 42%);
  • In emails (43% vs. 40%);
  • Websites (43% vs. 38%); and
  • In mail sent to the home (42% vs. 40%).

Some of the areas in which upscale Americans proved significantly more likely to have seen or heard advertising in comparison to the average adult included:

  • In movie theaters (25% vs. 20%);
  • In shopping malls (25% vs. 19%);
  • In digital magazines (10% vs. 6%); and
  • Inside airplanes (8% vs. 4%).

Of note, in many instances, it was the most affluent respondents (those with personal net worth of at least $1 million) who were the most likely to have seen or heard advertising in its various forms.

The survey continued by asking respondents which advertising forms they considered most engaging – measured by “considerable” or “some” interest in the advertising they had seen or heard during the past 30 days. (In other words, percentages are limited to those who had been reached by the advertising.)

On this measure, the following channels emerged as having the most potential engagement with upscale Americans:

  • Skype (79% exposed to ads indicating interest, versus 65% for the adult average);
  • Digital magazines (70% vs. 64%);
  • Tumblr; (69% vs. 73%)
  • Magazines – average of printed and digital (68% vs. 65%); and
  • Google+ (67% vs. 61%)

At the bottom of the heap on this measure were ads in digital games and ads in airports or airport lounges.

The results indicate that the channels with the widest reach aren’t always the ones likely to garner the most engagement. For example, of the 5 channels with the largest reach among upscale Americans, only one, TV (#12), was ranked in the top third by engagement. Each of the others was ranked 27th or lower out of 40 channels. Similarly, those with the highest potential engagement levels were ranked relatively low on the totem pole when it came to reach – as only magazines ranked in the top 10 for reach.

Given its reach and relatively strong engagement ranking, TV emerges as the top channel for reaching and engaging upscale Americans, per a MarketingCharts analysis of the data. That aligns with a previous survey from the Shullman Research Center, which found TV to be tops among millionaires when factoring in reach and engagement.

It also aligns with results from MarketingCharts research which has found TV ads to have the largest purchase influence on affluents ($100k+ household income).

– For data on attention paid to – and purchase influence of – 11 advertising channels among key demographics including Millennials and affluents, see the MarketingCharts report.

– For more data on the reach and engagement levels of the identified advertising channels among various segments of upscale Americans (including the wealthy), download the full Shullman Research Center report.

About the Data: The data is based on the Shullman Luxury, Affluence and Wealth Pulse, Fall 2014 wave, conducted online between August 22 and August 27, 2014, among adults age 18 or older.

Survey results were weighted on demographic characteristics to reflect estimates from the March 2013 Current Population Survey of the Bureau of the Census released in September 2013.

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