Summer 2020

Ad Relevance Study

Ad Relevance Study: Summer 2020

Ad exposure is a given part of everyday life, but how many of those ads make an impact? While we regularly measure the behavioral activity that signals ad effectiveness for individual advertisers, how do people feel about ads they have seen recently as a whole?

Do our audiences feel they tend to see relevant ads? Are they being served content relevant to their interests and needs? How does placement and format affect sentiment?

To answer these questions, DISQO has been conducting monthly surveys of our audience members, asking them to share:

  • Interest in viewing relevant ads
  • Relevance of typical ads seen
  • Factors that determine ad relevance
  • Sentiment in relation to ads

The full results of the Summer 2020 edition of the study are available for download via the form on the right. Below, we share a few highlights.

Thank you!

Interest in Relevant Ads

Since January, interest in viewing relevant ads has steadily increased, save for an insignificant, slight decline from May to June (-1%). When comparing January to June, there is a noticeable 13% spike in the desire to view relevant ads.

Recent Reported Ad Viewership

As advertisers have adapted to an increasingly digital path to purchase, it seems as though they’ve also improved the perceived relevance of their ads. When asked whether recently viewed ads were deemed relevant, a larger portion of people (+22%) agreed in June than January 2020.

In fact, while 48% reported at least half of the ads they see to be relevant in January, this number jumped (+19%) to 57% in June.

Elements of a Relevant Ad

The top factors that constitute a relevant ad are whether it is useful (62%), needed (49%), economical (47%), or desired (47%). Other elements include whether the ad is interesting (44%) or relatable (43%). When examining changes from month one to six, we notice a significant increase in ads that are interesting (+16%) and relatable (+13%) to be categorized as relevant.

Sentiment When Viewing Relevant Ads

As of June 2020, 72% of people report reacting positively when viewing relevant ads. While this number has steadily climbed from its starting point in January (70%), it dropped 9% in June after enjoying a peak of 78% in April and May.

Sentiment When Viewing Irrelevant Ads

Unsurprisingly, a majority of people (59%) report a decrease in sentiment when viewing irrelevant ads. Interestingly, however, this number has declined since January, when 66% reported a negative reaction.


Surveys were conducted online, distributed to a nationally representative sample of DISQO Audience members within the United States via the Survey Junkie platform, which is wholly owned by DISQO. Surveys were taken on both desktop and mobile devices. 

Each survey was distributed at the beginning of the month, with responses collected through the last day of the month. Distribution dates and respondent volume for each survey are as follows:

Survey Distribution by Edition
DISQO Ad Relevance Study, January through June 2020
Survey Edition Collection Period Respondents
Month 1 January n = 26,295
Month 2 February n = 27,580
Month 3 March n = 26,479
Month 4 April n = 30,316
Month 5 May n = 29,782
Month 6 June n = 31,091


DISQO is a consumer-first insights platform that delivers unprecedented data and analytics to the market research industry. The company powers insights professionals and marketers with automated solutions that drive consumer research and improve ad effectiveness. Today, DISQO delivers an accurate and complete view of the consumer via technology built on the foundation of the largest first-party research audience. By engaging consumers who choose to share their attitudes and behaviors, DISQO captures the highest quality data, empowering its clients to make confident decisions. Founded in 2015, DISQO is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has over 140 employees.