How many advertisements are we exposed to in a day? This question has been asked countless times and there is no way to found out for sure but a quick search reveals some guesses:
“The average American is exposed to 247 commercial messages each day.”
Consumer Reports Website
“The average American adult is exposed to over 600 advertising
messages in a single 24-hour period. — Managing Business to Business
“Marketing Communications, De Bonis and Peterson.”
“A conservative estimate has the average American consumer exposed to
more than 850 commercial messages a day.”
Texas A&M University Digital Library
Walker-Smith says we’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970’s to as many as 5,000 a day today.
Some of these “statistics” are quite dated and I didn’t quite trust the reliability of these statements. I didn’t think that we were exposed to more than 100 messages in a day, so I decided to try to experiment myself. Needless to say, this is also a very inaccurate study as I am a sample size of 1, but I just wanted to convince myself. I grabbed a notepad and decided to go through a normal day while purposely taking notice of marketing messages. I counted marketing messages as anything that a business/association purposely put out (logos, posters, advertisements, etc.) It was absolutely overwhelming. I guess I did not realize how much I actually block out but I found myself in a situation where I could barely put down my pen.
I ended up with 388 data points and 319 of them were unique. I definitely missed a lot of messages due to life getting in the way but I’m sure my subconscious captured it. I tried to visualize it in the form of an infographic in the best way I could.
I feel as though 500+ messages would be accurate but I am still very skeptical to believe that we receive over 5000 messages. I wonder if someone out there has figured out a way to accurately collect this (updated) data. I would be very interested to find out.