Virtual Trust

My previous post got me thinking. Since advertising is among the least trusted professions, what form of advertising would be the most trusted? Yes, I agree that there is a sense of irony in the question, but it is a question worth asking.

If you’ve read some of my older posts, I talked about how the internet is changing the ad game. How what was hard and fast rules are being re-written. And how the advertising of the future may not look like an ad at all. I even went as far as to predict the demise of advertising as we know it in perhaps just a few years.

Recently I stumbled upon this piece of research from Nielsen:

The most and least trusted forms of advertising
The most and least trusted forms of advertising

The first on the list, garnering an exceptional 90%, are consumers who trusted recommendations from people they know. Well that’s quite a no-brainer. Peer-to-peer, word-of-mouth communications will and always be the most powerful form of advertising.

It’s the second and third on the list that’s quite interesting. Online consumer opinions and brand websites are the most trusted form of advertising, in an un-trustworthy industry. The 70% score is way better than the traditional TV and print ads. The poll results do seem credible. When was the last time you were convinced by a 30-sec TVC or a FPFC Centre-spread? But I bet you remember the last time you checked out a product or service online after your friend said something about it on Facebook though.

I now have proof that online consumers, especially in a social media setting, will become the holy grail of advertisers in the future. And I can also console myself that I am at least in the positive end of the advertising industry, where people trust my copy just a little bit more.


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