44 Interesting Facts About Advertising In America

Here are some interesting facts related to advertising in U.S., enjoy and share!

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44 Interesting Advertising Facts!

Fact #1

The very first U.S. paid advertisement (1)
Appeared in
Appeared in
Boston News Letter

Fact #2

According to a research brands, companies, SME's spent between $160 billion to $260 billion on advertising (in the US) each year (2)

Fact #3

Total advertising expenditure by companies, businesses, brands etc in U.S. in year 2014 was the largest in decade, a total of $180.12 billion (3).

Fact #4

Average American watches TV for almost 5 hours daily that also includes more than one hour of ads (4).

Fact #5-6

In 65 years of lifespan, an average American spends around 9 years on watching TV (5) including 975 days of watching just commercials/ads (4), that is around two million in total (5).

Fact #7

Research discovered that four hours of TV programming (in U.S.) contains about 100 ads (6).

Fact #8

According to another study conducted in 2010, an average American is confronted with 16000 advertisement messages per day (7) that is 5840000 messages per year.

Fact #9

If we consider Fact #2 and Fact #8 together, it would cost on average between $273-$445 per ad to get your message to an average American.

Fact #10

According to another research, an average American is exposed to 61 minutes of TV ads/promotions daily (8).

Fact #11

Three largest Medias that take the lion share of advertising expenditure in the U.S are (9)

1.      TV
2.      Digital (laptops/desktops)
3.      Mobile

Fact #12

Around $180.12 billion advertising expenditure is projected in 2014 that will reach to $189.38 billion in 2015 (10).

Fact #13

If you are dealing in a product/service or want to launch one that is related to specific age group (in US) and you want to do some TV advertising, consider the following facts (11)(52).

tv watching statistics

Fact #14
Top five priciest shows (broadcast television) in America for advertisers (2016-2017) (12)
Show Name
30 Second Spot Cost
Sunday Night Football
Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football
The Big Bang Theory

Fact #15

Average magazine (national/local in U.S.) advertising cost ranges from $500 to $20,000 (13)

Fact #16

Top 10 magazines by circulation in the US (in first half of 2016) (14)

Magazine circulation is one of the important factor in determining how much money a specific magazine will charge for advertising, for instance a magazine with the circulation of 30,000, means it distributes 30,000 copies for each issue, will cost less than a magazine with circulation of 50,000.

Circulation in Millions
AARP The Magazine
AARP Bulletin
The Costco Connection
Better Homes And Gardens
Game Informer
AAA Living
Good Housekeeping
Family Circle
Woman's Day

Fact #17

Web advertising is the cheapest of all advertisement mediums in U.S. (15).

Fact #18

Magazine advertising expenditure (projected) in U.S (16)
Projection in billions

Fact #19

Magazine advertising (in U.S) has the highest ROI, 130% (17)
Media Channel

Fact #20

The most expensive commercial in U.S. was made by Chrysler (2011) $12.4 Million (18)

Fact #21

The world biggest and most expensive digital billboard is in Time Square, New York. It is eight story's high and cost around $2.5 million to hire it just for four weeks (19).

Fact #22

Digital billboards in U.S (20)(21)
Initial Cost
Total Number
Makes up one percent of all billboards in U.S.
400 digital billboards are added every six months

Fact #23

Billboard Advertising Cost in U.S (22)
Vinyl Print Cost
Paper Print Cost
Designing Cost
Square Feet X $0.80= ballpark figure
Take the area in square ft and multiply by $0.80 to get a ballpark

Fact #24

According to a research, pharmaceutical brands in U.S. spend more on advertising than on research (23).

Fact #25

Super Bowl advertising facts (24)
Production Cost
30 Second Spot Cost
60 Second Spot Cost
$1-$3 million
$4 million
$8 million

Fact #26

IKEA ran the first TV commercial in U.S. depicting a homosexual couple (25).

Fact #27
Every word used in advertising matters, you will be surprised at testing different words and their correlation with achieving advertising goals.

Back in early 1950's Coca-Cola used one more word "drink" in their advertising in Cinema (pre-movie advertising)  and their sales increased significantly, the phrase "Drink Coca-Cola" appeared for very a brief instant, 1/3,000 of a second (26).

Fact #28
In US, (according to a research) animals in advertising are used to present zeitgeist of the time.

What I am saying is research "revealed that animals were used to dictate the zeitgeist of each decade. 

For instance, 1940-1950 advertisers used animal themes reflecting strong family relationships, prosperity, and consumer spending. 

The authors argued these themes were due to the recovery efforts of the country after World Wars I and II.

However, as the century came to a close, the majority of studies examining the use of animals focused on anthropomorphism (endearing them with human characteristics)" (33).

Fact #29
In case you are wondering how much a small business in U.S. spends on advertising, then the answer according to U.S. SBA is 1-10% of gross sales (35).

Fact #30
Colors matters a lot in advertising, it is one of earliest tactics used in advertising (27), in a research 85% customers pointed out color as the primary reason for their purchase decision (28).

In fact the American brand Heinz made around $23 million (company highest at the time) in first month just for changing their packaging color, from red to green (29).

Fact #31
Here is a forecast of local advertising spending in U.S. 2016-2018, Borrell Associates.
local advertising cost spending US

Borrell defines local ad spending as dollars spent from within the market to reach people within the market. National spending from outside the market is not included (34).

LT: Less Than
As Ab: As Above

Fact #32
Average length of the very first television advertisement in the U.S. was 60 seconds (36).

Fact #33
In case you are wondering about the longest TV ad, again U.S. leads, "The longest TV commercial (duration) is 13 hr 5 min 11 sec, achieved by Arby's (USA) promoting the Smokehouse Brisket sandwich". (37)

Fact #34
The first "scented billboard," emitting odors similar to charcoal and black pepper to suggest a steak grilling, was erected in Mooresville, North Carolina by the Bloom grocery chain to promote the sale of beef (38).
Fact #35
Well if you are working in an Ad Company and you find people jump shipping, low-morale could be the most likely culprit.

70% of employees at low-morale ad companies are job hunting.

First Annual Campaign US Morale Survey says lack of leadership is driving down morale -- and driving employees away (39).

Fact #36
Use of animals in advertising in not new but if you want to know the mastermind, it turns out be an American, Leo Burnett (October 21, 1891 – June 7, 1971), Burnett used animals in advertising way earlier than anyone else (in 1950's) (30).

Some of his famous animal characters used in advertising includes Tony the Tiger, Charlie Tuna, Morris the Cat (31).

Fact #37
Well if you think advertising is just about targeting humans, think again, there have been advertisements (in US and world over) (32) that targeted pets.

Like Holiday Day Hotel for Cats in Los Angels made 1:09 minute commercial targeting cats, where the owner, Margaret Hughes, speaks in cat language—a mix of mews, trills and meows.

Check this interesting commercial, made by Whiskas (again a U.S. firm) targeting cats in their advertising.

Fact #38
Aerial Advertising
It takes less than 24 hours to get your aerial advertising launched in the U.S. (40)

Fact #39
Advertising VS Fruit, Vegetable Consumption
More people reported that they ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables in states that used marketing campaigns to promote produce than in states that did not, finds a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion (41)(42).

Fact #40
Advertising to Children in the U.S.
According to a study conducted by American Psychological Association, majority of children in the U.S. have access to television in their bedrooms and quite a good number among them have unsupervised access to the internet.

These couple of factors have resulted in increase in advertising targeting children and youth, around $12 billion is spend per year, where children view around 40k commercials each year(43).

Fact #41
Restroom Advertising
Numerous researches suggests that due to enormity of mass marketing/advertising (marketing clutter on tv, newspaper, radio, internet, offline…) target consumer has become less interested in mass marketing with response rate just around 1%. (44)(45)(46)(47)

But here restroom advertising is the only medium that cuts through the clutter (in U.S.) (48)(49)(50)

  • Recall rate is over 62%
  • Time spent with medium, on average is 2 minutes
  • 98 percent of viewers surveyed had a positive or neutral reaction to the ads.

Fact #42
Print advertising VS Restroom Advertising (in U.S.) (49)(50)
Ad type
Target Audience Viewing Time
Print Ads
3-5 Seconds
Restroom Ads
1 ½-3 minutes

Fact #43
Restroom advertising cost/month (49)

Fact #44
The advertising industry is a major sector of the U.S. economy, employing hundreds of thousands of workers and accounting for about 2% of the nation’s annual output (51).

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1.       Berger, Warren. 2001. Advertising Today. New York, NY: Phaidon Press, Inc.
2.       http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=109734
3.       http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Total-US-Ad-Spending-See-Largest-Increase-Since-2004/1010982
4.       Nielsen Wire report
5.       http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html
6.       Starsburger, Victor C., (2001, June) “Children and TV Advertising: Nowhere to run, Nowhere to hide”. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 22, 185
7.       Allison Enright, What Amazon’s strong growth means for competitors, Internet Retailer, October 2010.
8.       http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/business/media/27adco.html?_r=0
9.       http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Total-US-Ad-Spending-See-Largest-Increase-Since-2004/1010982
10.    http://www.statista.com/statistics/272314/advertising-spending-in-the-us/
11.    http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/
12.    http://adage.com/article/news/tv-ad-pricing-chart/305899/
13.    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/83094
14.    https://www.statista.com/statistics/239631/leading-us-consumer-magazines-by-circulation/
15.    http://www.webpagefx.com/blog/business-advice/the-cost-of-advertising-nationally-broken-down-by-medium/#mag
16.    http://www.statista.com/statistics/272414/magazine-advertising-spending-in-the-us/
17.    http://www.inma.org/blogs/research/post.cfm/cross-media-study-shows-print-advertising-has-highest-roi
18.    http://www.therichest.com/luxury/most-expensive/7-of-the-most-expensive-advertising-campaigns/?view=all
19.    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30110137
20.    http://www.scenic.org/storage/documents/EXCERPT_Economic_Feasibility_and_Return_on_Investment_of_Digital_Signs.pdf
21.    http://www.medialifemagazine.com/your-client-on-digital-billboards/
22.    http://fitsmallbusiness.com/how-much-does-billboard-advertising-cost/
23.    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080105140107.htm
24.    http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2014/01/29/yes-a-super-bowl-ad-really-is-worth-4-million/
25.    http://www.commercialcloset.org/common/adlibrary/adlibrarydetails.cfm?clientID=11064&QID=76 
26McConnell, J. V., Cutler, R. L., & McNeil, E. B. (1958). Subliminal Stimulation: An Overview. The American 
       Psychologist. 229-242.
27.  Warner, L. & Franzen, R. (1946). Value of Color in Advertising.
28.  http://www.shopify.com/blog/14254569-why-all-sale-signs-are-red-the-science-of-color-in-retail
29.  http://brandtwist.com/results/heinz-ez-squirt-2/ 
30.  Brown, S. (2010). The Penguin’s Progress: A Mashup for Managers. Marshall Cavendish: London
31.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Burnett
32.  http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/9-wild-ads-speak-pets-instead-their-owners-136467
33. The Psychology of Using  Animals in Advertising Sherril M.Stone Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
34. http://www.inma.org/blogs/disruptive-innovation/post.cfm/5-year-forecast-the-end-of-advertising-as-we-ve-known-it 
35. U.S. SBA
36. https://blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/2014/06/effective_length_for_tv_commercials.html
37. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-tv-commercial- 
38. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billboard 
39. http://www.campaignlive.com/article/survey-70-employees-low-morale-ad-companies-job-hunting/1364561 
40.    http://www.advertisingaerial.com/
41.    Howlett A, et al. The Positive Influence of State Agricultural Marketing Programs on Adults’ Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. September/October 2012, American Journal of Health Promotion.
42.    http://www.cfah.org/hbns/2012/fruit-and-vegetable-advertising-linked-to-more-consumption
43.    http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/advertising-children.aspx
44.    McDonnell, F. (2005), “Integrating word of mouth marketing”, paper presented at the International Word-of-mouth Marketing Conference, 6-7 October, Hamburg, in Andres, N. (Ed.), Proceedings of the 1st International Word-of-Mouth Marketing Conference, Brand Science Institute, Hamburg, Germany.
45.    Nielsen (2007), “Trust in advertising, a global Nielsen consumer report”, October, available at: www.nielsen.com/solutions/TrustinAdvertisingOct07.pdf
46.    MacInnis, Deborah J., Christine Moorman, and Bernard J. Jaworski (1991), "Enhancing and Measuring Consumers Motivation, Opportunity, and Ability to Process Brand Information From Ads," Journal of Marketing, 4 (October), 32-53.
47.    Data Mining for Direct Marketing : Problems & Solutions by Charles X. Ling & Chenghui Li
48.    Market Intelligence, Crystal Lake, Illinois
49.    http://www.medialifemagazine.com:8080/news2000/may00/news60522.html
50.    Arizona State University, Rice University and Barbour and Monroe

51.    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40908.pdf 
52     https://www.dslreports.com/r0/download/2274798~635f2275e9761163162984a1c5956829/total-audience-report-q1-2016.pdf 

About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of www.easymarketinga2z.com and www.topexpertsa2z.com

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