I will attempt to refrain from commenting on the socio-economic state of the world and just give the facts, and nothing but the facts, according to a report by the IAB and Ipsos Mendelsohn anyway. One of their latest research reports states that some 41% of affluent people who saw video ads then took an action after seeing said ad. That's a pretty robust number.

The study, Affluent Consumers in the Digital World, peeked into the habits of the wealthiest American consumers, those in homes with at least $100,000 annual incomes.

Methodology of Affluents

  • Conducted online February 22-28, 2011
  • National sample of online adults 18+
  • Weighted / balanced to U.S. Census data
  • 2,088 respondents interviewed in total
  • 1,063 with HHI <$100K
  • 1,025 with HHI $100K+

Content of the Survey

  • Frequency of seeing digital ads (by type)
  • Actions taken based on digital ad exposure
  • Perceived relevance and trustworthiness of message from digital advertising
  • Focus vs. multi-tasking during media activities
  • Attitudes toward advertising, privacy, etc.

Rich Results

The IAB commissioned research, done by Ipsos Mendelsohn, which has been surveying the affluent market since 1977, found that 98 percent of affluent consumers use the Internet, as compared with 79 percent of the general population. They spend 26.2 hours online weekly, 17.6 hours watching TV and 7.5 hours listening to the radio. The general population, on the other hand, spends about twice as much time weekly with TV and radio—34 hours and 16 hours, respectively—and just 21.7 hours on the Internet.

21% of US Households are affluent and have 70% of the consumer wealth while spending 3.2x more than other Americans (that would be a 79% that are not affluent). They are 2x more likely to buy, again not surprising, they've got the disposable income to do it currently while many others, don't.

Basically, affluents are more hip to what's new and exciting. Not surprising really, since they can afford all of that. The only real exclusions to those rules are probably people like myself who are techno-geeks and write on the topic. I know about all sorts of awesomely cool gear that I am nowhere near affluent enough to have, but would love.

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A big 59 percent of affluent consumers reported taking action based on a digital ad during the preceding six months.That's pretty close to non-affluent consumers actually

A Glimpse into Affluence

The Affluent topped all the charts including Internet usage (98% over 79% General Populace), avg hrs/week online (26.2 vs 21.7), wireless phone owners (92% vs. 81%), smartphone (33% vs. 17%) and were far below average on TV hrs/week (17.6 vs 34) and radio (7.5 vs. 16).

In regards to digital ad viewing, Affluent consumers were 3% higher than sub $100K/year households and the total population. So apparently, the online video ad industry is hitting them more?

Video Ads Are The Most Effective, Move 41% of Affluents to Take Action dig ad affluent by type

They also report seeing more video ads per week (2.8 vs. 2.6) than non-affluent and total population averages.

Video Ads Are The Most Effective Type With Affluents

Those video ads affected them 41% of the time which was only matched by search ads and sponsored listing. Web/banner ads and email ads came in at 37%, social media at 28% and mobile ads were the bottom at 17%.

Video Ads Are The Most Effective, Move 41% of Affluents to Take Action dig ad affluent action by type

Another interesting thing that came out of the research is that they prefer ad-supported free content over premium, subscription-based content. 57% of Affluents topped the 53% of the general populace and 51% of non-affluents who answered yes to:

I would prefer to see ad-supported online content that is free, rather than paying for content that is ad-free.

Those are some tasty little tidbits of information right there. Affluents are more interested in ad-supported free content over subscription models. Everyone seems to be trying to tighten their belts and get more out of the ad-supported format, even those who have more to spend it seems.

Perhaps that tells you something?

There's all sorts of other useful insights in the Affluent Consumers in the Digital World report as well.

  • http://www.deepfootprints.co.uk/ Joel

    Hi All
    I just want to add my pennies worth to this conversation. Personally I appreciate a journalist adding in some of their own opinions however quirky. Yes, it can be a distraction when in a report but I do think that the rules of journalism are generally relaxing and it is important nowadays to show a bit of personality and to allow for blurring of these lines. It is clear to all readers as to what is fact and what is opinion; why can the two not sit side by side in the same article?
    If there is confusion of the two then that is a different matter but in this piece the writer is clear (I think).

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  • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ Mark R Robertson

    Scot... seriously, we do appreciate the feedback so no offense whatsoever. Yeah, it is a fine line and I'll admit, though I dont necessarily see that in this article, we could do a better job with that from time to time. I suppose where it's difficult is that we feel it's important to provide a bit of our take on things rather than just regurgitating information but none-the-less, I completely understand your point. Thanks again for the feedback and the conversation. BTW - when I comment here - do you get a notification of that or did you just come back and see that I replied? Im trying to troubleshoot something so just curious how it's working for you. Thanks....

  • Rodger R

    I wasn't offended by the first line. Then again, I don't have any money either. But if I did, I wouldn't get offended; but I might pay someone to be offended for me.

  • http://3rdplanetmedia.com scot

    Hi Mark,

    It's cool you responded, thanks. Chris' comment seemed like an obvious dig at the affluent. My issue is the remark has no relationship with the rest of the article and is, therefore, superfluous. At best Chris comes off sounding a bit churlish. Meantime the rest of the article is an excellent report of the facts.

    I'm trying to highlight the difference between reporting (just the facts) and editorializing. Is the article an editorial or a report? If an editorial, he didn't go far enough. If a report, he went too far.

    This line has been blurred in recent times but it can be an important one as it's easy to alienate readers and potential customers.

    Think of the Dixie Chicks a few years back. They have a political point of view and weren't shy about expressing it from the stage at their concerts. Their audience was offended when the expected musical experience was hijacked by a political message they tended not to agree with. The Dixie Chicks needlessly lost audience, airplay and revenue.

    Also, I'm not reading the article because my favorite writer composed it (Chris is very good and I've read a lot of his stuff). I'm reading it for the information and therefore editorial like this is unwelcome to me as a reader.

    Hmm. Must be something in the coffee today. Sorry for the length.

    Best Wishes,


  • Christophor Rick

    I think he's commenting on the "according to..." part. However, it could be that today another piece of research comes out and directly refutes this piece of research based on a different methodology. Therefore, I also see no problem with that part of the first sentence as well. Plus, I think I maintained a fairly even keel on this piece overall heh.

  • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ Mark R Robertson

    Thanks Scot... we definitely appreciate the feedback. However, it seems that we did just that. I mean Chris doesnt go into his thoughts. He specifically says "I will attempt to refrain from commenting on the socio-economic state of the world and just give the facts" So - what am I missing?

  • http://3rdplanetmedia.com scot

    First line of the article should have been excised by an editor. It makes no sense to take shots, however obliquely, at those who we wish to do business with.

    If one wishes to make one's living online one must engage those who have the wherewithal to purchase one's goods and/or services. Moreover, the author's view of the socio-economic state of the world is immaterial to the rest of this, very good, article.

    More to the point. I don't care what he thinks about the affluent. Businesses worldwide depend on engaging at least some of the affluent in a mutually beneficial relationship where the affluent get something they value (goods/services)and give me something in return (money).

    Perhaps the author should deploy a blog wherein he can offer any or all of his views on everything. However, if your goal is to inform ... it might be best to keep you opinions under your hat.