How many advertisements the average American sees a day?

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I beg to differ. I've just looked this up online. The research stands at between 125 and 980. Guestimates, including the one from Yankelvich (later quoted by the NY Times), range from 3,000 to 20,000. The higher numbers include every time you pass a label in a grocery store, what's in your mailbox whether you see it or not, the label in your underwear, etc.

One of the most sane studies I came across said we see 245 images per day and probably don't notice half of them even though we've been exposed.

Look at Times Square. That has to be the most dense concentration of buy-me messages on the planet. I'm guestimating myself, but I would think that if you stood in front of the bleachers by the ticket office and slowly turned around while counting every message on every diamond vision, doorway, cab, bus, billboard, and flyer, you'd come up with less than 500 images. But very few of us living in the the outside world try that hard to absorb any messages that don't speak to something in our core wants, desires, or values.

Our brains can't truly process that many messages in a day adequately enough to even judge their merit. The right message can link with our own desire or interest and get us to stop and look at, watch, or listen to it. An ad message that informs us about something we want will get noticed. If you're lusting after a new, hot, American made sports sedan, the Cadillac CTS TV, print, outdoor, or radio ad will catch your attention. The Ford pickup ad won't register. So who cares if you saw it or not?

Obviously the ad space (often synonymous with our living space) is extremely overcrowded. But consumers are developing an immunity to it. And as we mature we get less easily distracted by information that means nothing to us.
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