Advertising context drives product quality perceptions – The Times

advertising context - the times

Advertising has a significant impact on consumers’ perceptions of the quality of a product, according to new research from The Times and The Sunday Times. 

When asked what factors indicate that a product or service is of high quality, 46% of the top factors chosen by respondents related to advertising.

Advertising context

Advertising appearing in trustworthy outlets made up 19% of the top factors chosen, the same number as for ‘long lasting products’, suggesting that quality media context is as important as product design in driving perceptions of quality amongst consumers. 

Meanwhile, well designed advertising made up 27% of the top factors selected, again emphasising the power of well-executed advertising to drive deeper brand perceptions.

The research, ‘Trends and Traits’, surveyed 529 ABC1 respondents aged 25-44 who had engaged with The Times brand across print, digital, radio or other platforms such as The Times’ podcasts. 

It emphasised that ‘quality’ was a powerful brand attribute for this audience, with 50% of respondents quoting quality of products or services as an important reason why they remained loyal to a brand. 

Quality was more important to them than price (45%), sustainability (36%) or ethical products or services (36%).

When asked directly about brands’ corporate social responsibility,75% claimed that a brands’ CSR approach influenced their purchasing decisions, with use of green energy being most important at 47%, sustainable development second at 45% and environmental concern third at 44%.

Caroline Tredget, Commercial Director, The Times and The Sunday Times, said: “The fact that advertising appearing in a trustworthy context is as important as product longevity in driving consumer perceptions of product quality is hugely significant. 

“We’ve long known that advertising context is important in driving product perceptions and this research just emphasises that message. 

“Quality is important to this influential audience and it’s clear that advertising plays a significant role in creating the perception of quality for these consumers.

“The 25-44 ABC1 demographic is a hugely important one for us as a media owner and they’re an increasingly significant part of our audience, driven by our new digital products as well as brand extensions such as Times Radio. 

“It was therefore important that we understood more about their brand perceptions and how they connect with trusted, quality media brands.”