Jul. 27th, 2006

How many ads do we see every day?

We spend what, $620 BN a year on marketing, so we should know how many messages Average Joe sees a day. Right? Well it seems we don’t.

Check out these estimates culled from Google Answers:

Estimate 1: 3,000 a day

The average American is exposed to over 3000 ads every day. The ads increasingly encroach upon our public space — our schools, our public transportation, our buildings, and even our beaches" (a new technique enables the advertisers to stamp their ads onto the sand at beaches.)


Estimate 2: 1,600 per day.

According to the Nielsen Report the average American home had the TV set on for about seven hours a day. The actual viewing was estimated at 4.5 daily hours per adult. To this had to be added radio, which offered 100 words per minute and was listened to an average of two hours a day, mainly in the car. An average daily newspaper offered 150,000 words and it was estimated to take between 18 and 49 minutes of daily reading time. While magazines were browsed over for about 6 to 30 minutes… Media exposure is cumulative… All in all, the average adult American uses 6.43 hours a day in media attention… Although in the US the average person is exposed to 1,600 advertising messages per day."

Emayzine Website

Estimate 3: That’s twaddle. It’s more like 150.

The Guru has recently heard numbers cited between 3,000 and 20,000. These numbers are ludicrous. When challenged, those citing them will hedge and say they meant "informational messages" or some such and include product lables passed in a grocery store… When considering these silly numbers, it is best to stop and think: a person is usually only awake for about 1000 minutes per day. If they did nothing else but look at or listen to adverstising, it would take every minute of the day to generate 3000 exposures. A number aound 500 might be a reasonable extreme, again counting as exposure all the out-of-home media passed, and small space ads in newspapers and magazines,even thought there may be no notice taken at all… The Guru has seen estimates from a few hundred to many thousands. The Guru tends to go along with one of the best accepted estimates, that there are about 245 ad exposures daily, 108 from TV, 34 radio and 112 print. Others estimate 3000, 5000 or more. Even the 245 is "potential" and perhaps only half are real exposures. The higher estimates probably include all marketing exposure including being in the vicinity of product labels or actual products with trademarks visible, such as your car, computer, fax, phone, shirt, pencil, paper towel in the bathroom, etc. Just think, if we were really exposed to 3000 advertising messages per day, at an average of just 10 seconds apiece (accounting for radio :60’s and brief exposure to billboards), these exposures would consume 8.33 hours out of our 16 waking hours per day.”

The Advertising Media Inter Center Website

Um, no one knows for sure. But its probably a lot.

To read more on the topic:

This industry scares me sometimes.


  • Mr. Marketing
    Nov. 27th, 2007

    5000 ad exposures per day is correct. Now very few of those advertisements rise to the level of getting our attention, but consider the internet. On this page alone there are 28 different advertisements (if we use the American Marketing Association’s definition of an advertisement – Any announcement or persuasive message placed in the mass media in paid or donated time or space by an identified individual, company, or organization). If you are on this page, you are thus exposed. Now very few of the advertisements on this page will gain your attention. And of those, fewer still will rise from attention to perception (the level at which genuine interest happens). Of the 5000+ ads you are exposed to on a daily basis, fewer than 250 will get your attention and less than 50 of those will snag your perception.

  • Sherlock Holmes.
    Feb. 27th, 2009

    Your clearly an idiot.
    We have something called the sub concious mind; it takes in everything we see and hear.
    So therefore you may be under the influence of an advert you saw even though you are not CONCIOUSLY aware.

  • Holmes Sherlock
    Jun. 1st, 2012

    @Sherlock Holmes.

    You’re* clearly an idiot.

  • just saying
    Jan. 20th, 2013

    You clearly just proved his point. I dont know about you but from what he said i understood that he was saying we dont conciously pay attention to every ad we see and hear. He said what u said in a longer way. Good effort though on trying to be a mr “know it all”, and you deffinately recieve an “A” for being rude.

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