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It’s Ad Counting Day


I’ve decided today is the day I count ads to determine how many advertising messages the average consumer is exposed to in a 24 hour period. I slept in so I hope that doesn’t skew the numbers. In fact, to get a better control I’d better do it over a few days. That’s going to hurt. If anyone else is interested in helping me with the data feel free to pipe up. I’m using a tally counter application on my iPhone to assist the number crunching (no, that’s not an ad), so if you’ve got an iPhone and some spare time, your industry needs you.

The definition of an ad is a paid commercial spot. A logo doesn’t count, unless it’s been paid to be in that position, so the word ‘Dell’ on my computer doesn’t count (and it doesn’t count in that sentence) but the 3 logo on the Australian cricket team uniforms does count, but only once, because they’ve paid to have their logo on all the uniforms in one go, not per uniform. By the same token, if I’m watching the cricket on the TV, I can only count each billboard once, same goes for the little Ford logo that pops up with each score – they’re not paying per score, they’re paying for the spot in the day.

I’m about an hour in to the exercise so far and I’m only up to 91 ads. It’s not looking good for the textbook figure of 3,000. I’m off for a walk to work and back and then I’m going to read a few magazine pages, a newspaper and listen to some commercial radio. We’ll see how we go, wish me luck!

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7 Responses to It’s Ad Counting Day

  1. Zac Martin says:

    I think you’ll find the textbook definition includes any type of marketing message, which means logos too.

    Looking forward to seeing what the figure is!

  2. Not sure about that Zac. I think you need to have a message behind it and it needs to be a paid placement for it to be an ad.

    “A notice, such as a poster or a paid announcement in the print, broadcast, or electronic media, designed to attract public attention or patronage.” –

    “Advertising is a form of communication that typically attempts to persuade potential customers to purchase or to consume more of a particular brand of product or service. Many advertisements are designed to generate increased consumption of those products and services through the creation and reinforcement of “brand image” and “brand loyalty”.” –

  3. Zac Martin says:

    But Matt, I’m not paying anything to put up posters around my local area. Or to put something on my website…

  4. Ah, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch – there is an exchange taking place there. Even if you put up an illegal poster on a street pole you are doing so knowing that if you get caught, you risk paying a fine (you are only supposed to put posters up on the street in properly licensed areas and you need to pay for it, that’s how council protects genuine payign advertisers). You’re exchanging that risk – there’s been a conscious effort involved. Put something up on your website and you are paying with you and your readers time.

  5. And, just for the record, I went for a walk to work and back, and to where I usually go for lunch – 600 ads in that 2km space. Jesus Christ, maybe I will hit 3,000.

  6. Camiel says:

    By the time I read this, your day must probably have ended. I am very curious to see what the final score is.

  7. Pingback: Graphic design from Shropshire that creates an advertisment really worth noticing | The Juice

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