AAF Survey: Advertisers Are Spreading the Money Around

The American Advertising Federation (AAF) has released its first ever survey of advertisers’ media investments, and the results show most advertisers will pursue a combination of traditional and new media advertising in the coming year.

The report states 75.5 percent of respondents believe the right media mix almost always includes a balance of traditional and non-traditional media, and that 87.4 percent believe the pace and scope of innovation in the media landscape inspires creativity.

“There is a strong commitment to traditional media, but a recognition that new media is becoming ever more important to the overall advertising mix,” said Mary Hilton, spokesperson for the AAF. “Since we have done other surveys that relate to digital media and advertising, and some on new media trends, we have a good sense that people are adapting to the new media environment very quickly. That was supported by this survey.”

When questioned about the most surprising developments during 2006, respondents cited the rush to advertise in Second Life as the most unexpected, with interest in YouTube following, while the availability of TV programs on the Internet and the mass adoption of text messaging were the least surprising.

The survey asked which traditional advertising medium could benefit from a novel approach to stay current; 51.4 percent believe newspapers require the most innovation, while 34.5 percent said network television, and 33.8 percent said radio. When considering the magazine category, 46 percent said business magazines are most in need of a unique approach to remain current.

When planning for the coming year, 73 percent of respondents said that up to 20 percent of their budget is reserved for experimentation and new media properties, but 12.37 percent of respondents listed 21 to 40 percent of their budget as reserved for experimentation, and 78 percent agreed with “I am always open to new ways to use traditional media.”

The AAF conducted a week long online survey in January using a sample of approximately 1,000 agency, media, advertising client executives, primarily of director level or above, according to Hilton.

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