More restaurant owners turned to couponing in 2009 to eek out traffic during the recent slow periods. But if they had any doubt where to place such ads, print media is still king of this realm, according to a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll. That changes, however, if operators want to reach young to younger-middle-aged groups.
 
According to the survey, almost one-quarter of adult Americans (23 percent) believe that newspaper and magazine advertisements are where they can find the best bargains. Just under one in five (18 percent) believe online advertisements are most likely to help them find the best bargains. Over one in 10 each say direct mail and catalogs (12 percent) and television commercials (11 percent) are where to look while just 2 percent say radio. And, one-third of Americans (34 percent) believe the type of ad makes no difference when they are looking for the best bargain.
 
These are some of the findings of a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll survey of 2,136 U.S. adults surveyed online between Dec. 14 -16, 2009, by Harris Interactive.
 
Online ads appeal most to people under 45 and to college graduates
 
When looking for the best bargains, different age groups have different ideas of where to look. Those 18 – 34 are more likely to say online ads (22 percent) and television commercials (17 percent) are the best places to go while those 35 – 44 years old go online (26 percent). The older one is, the more likely they are to use newspaper and magazine advertisements, as 24 percent of those 44 – 54 and one-third of those 55 and older (33 percent) say those are media most likely to help them find the best bargain.
 
Among the genders, women are slightly more likely than men to favor newspaper and magazine advertisements (24 percent vs. 22 percent) and that direct mail and catalogs (14 percent vs. 11 percent) are more likely to help them find a bargain. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to say online advertisements are more likely to help them find a bargain (21 percent vs. 16 percent).
 
There is also an interesting educational difference in the media people believe can help them find the best bargains. One-quarter of those with a high school education or less (25 percent) say newspaper and magazine advertisements are more likely to help them find a bargain compared to 20 percent of those with at least a college degree. Three in 10 of those with at least a college degree (29 percent) believe online advertisements are more likely to help them find a bargain compared to 12 percent of those with a high school education or less who say the same.
 
So what?
 
Advertisers have a wide array of choices to make when placing their ads. While newspaper ads are still slightly ahead of others among all adults when it comes to bargain hunting, online is not that far behind. Indeed, online ads lead newspaper and magazine ads, as a source of information about bargains, among younger, better educated consumers, who are much more attractive to most advertisers.

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