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Study: Only 6% of Local Auto Ads in HD

Although the vast majority of homes now have an HD set and over half of all local broadcast and cable outlets are capable of accepting HD ads, only 12% of all regional ads are delivered in HD and only 20% for national ads are sent out in HD, according to a new report by Extreme Reach.

The report is based on a survey of over 200,000 ads sent in the third quarter of this year over the Extreme Reach digital ad delivery platform.

The newest data shows an ongoing improvement in the ability of local TV outlets to accept HD ads, with 56% of all these local outlets capable of receiving HD ads in the third quarter. A much higher proportion, about 73%, are HD capable in the top 25 markets.

In previous reports on HD ad delivery, the inability of local stations to handle HD ads had been a major bottleneck in the move to high-def spots.

But the new report indicates that the problem increasingly involves local advertisers and agencies. Only 6% of all local auto ads are delivered in HD, for example, versus 32% from the major car manufacturers.

The report also found poor HD delivery for ads in the local financial services, health and fitness and insurance categories. Fewer than 5% of local ads in each of these sectors were delivered in HD.

The results are particularly notable because a large body of research has consistently shown that consumers pay more attention to HD ads. A survey conducted by Extreme Reach in the first quarter of this year found that 76% believed that HD enabled advertisers to stand out and that they give them a competitive edge.

"Most regional TV advertisers are likely aware of the advantages of advertising in HD, but they may not be apprised of the favorable market conditions and recent advancements that make HD campaigns more cost-effective and as easy to execute as SD," said CEO of Extreme Reach, John Roland, in a statement. "This new HD Advertising Report reveals some important trends among regional advertisers and points out opportunities for regional leaders, like auto dealerships and retailers, to gain an edge in their markets and rise to the HD quality of their national counterparts."