Almost three-quarters of us (72%) press mute or change channels while TV ads are on, while 73% of us find banner ads the most annoying advertising medium, and almost all of us (94%) still remember which brand gave us a promotional item after we've had it for six months, according to research conducted by Relevant Insights for the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA). This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

The survey looked at the major channels through which brands and companies advertise their products and services, including TV, radio, online, direct mail, newspapers, magazines and promotional merchandise. The results provide great insight and may impact on marketing spend in the future.

The strikingly different reactions to various media are among the most eye-opening findings. For example, 28% of respondents indicated that they generally watch all television commercials, whereas 41% generally read an advert in a magazine or newspaper, yet only 13% will click on an online advert. What's more, just under half (46%) stayed tuned to the channel but do not pay any attention to commercials, only 16% watch commercials if they are on a recorded TV programme, and 69% fast forward them.

Despite well-documented increases in online advertising spend, 73% of respondents stated that they felt annoyed when exposed to banner adverts, with 54% indicating similar feelings in response to direct mail, 44% to radio and 32% to television. Magazine advertising was deemed annoying by 13% of respondents and promotional merchandise at only 5% is the least annoying medium.

Because they see it more often, nearly two-fifths (39%) of respondents indicated they are more likely to remember TV advertising, just ahead of promotional products at 35%, just 10% remembering print or online advertisements and 5% for direct mail. However, when asked which advertising medium provides an incentive to take action, the results show that 50% are incentivised to take action after receiving a promotional product, whereas just 19% said they react to TV advertising, 11% to online adverts, 10% to print and 9% to direct mail.

Fully 94% of consumers remember the advertiser who gave them a promotional item or the product advertised after they've have had it for six months, and nearly two-fifths (39%) are more likely to use a business that has given them a promotional product when the need for the advertised product or service arises, rather than a similar business that has not given them anything.

Two thirds of us like to hang on to such gifts for more than six months and 44% keep them for over one year. More than half of respondents (54%) said they would go and get a promotional product that was being handed out, provided it was useful to them. 'Likability' is also important in this decision.

Nearly half (46%) of people questioned said that they like receiving free products that have an advertising message, and half (50%) would like to receive such items more often. 98% think that promotional products are not a waste of money.

But what about advertising recall? The survey findings show how many people skim over and disregard advertisements. However, those that do take note of them reported that the advert had made an impression on them, even if it did not lead directly to any further action. When asked how many newspaper or magazine adverts they had seen in the last two weeks around one-third (33%) could not remember, while just over one-fifth of respondents (21%) said they had not seen any, and 12% said they has seen between three and five adverts. When asked about the action taken following sight of a printed advert only 12% purchased the product being advertised, yet 87% said the advert did make an impression on them, although only 8% made a note of the advertiser and the product to follow up in the future.

The figures were similar for online advertising, with 16% stating that they had not seen any adverts, and 10% that they had seen between three and five. A lower 5% purchased the product being advertised, although 81% said the advert made an impression on them, but just 9% made a note of the advertiser and the product to follow up later.

And the ability of various advertising media to evoke instant recognition of the advertiser was interesting with 40% of respondents stating that promotional products had this effect, closely followed by TV adverts (35%). Fewer respondents thought that print would prompt instant recognition (10%), and even less online advertising and direct mail (9% and 5% respectively).

According to Michaela Mora of Relevant Insights, "The results provide plenty of insight into which communication channels generate the most favourable actions from consumers and will help brands when deciding on the most appropriate ways in which to communicate with their consumers."

Neal Beagles, chairman for the BPMA, added: "It is encouraging to see promotional products viewed so positively and holding their own as an important part of the marketing mix, being the most likely to incentivise them to take action."