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The hidden effects of TV advertising

News, 05 November 2015

LONDON: TV has far reaching, but often hidden, effects across the communications system, according to a new report which highlights the medium's impact on driving direct and indirect response via other channels.

The study – TV Response: new rules, new roles – was commissioned by Thinkbox with research carried out by GroupM and looked at various types of advertising response, including via e-commerce, bricks and mortar and telephone, across a range of channels. A total of 1.38m TV spots, spanning 43 advertisers and 9 sectors, were analysed.

The study also identified the additional consumer response which was directly attributable to media investment over and above the ongoing base level of response which is the product of many historical factors, including previous media investment.

GroupM found that media accounted for on average 39% of sales in the short-to-medium term (within three months of a campaign finishing); 33% of these media-driven sales were driven by TV advertising, more than any other communication channel. By comparison, paid-for online search created 22%, online display 12%, affiliates 10%, print 8%, direct mail 8%, radio 3% and outdoor 1%.

TV also drove a response through several channels directly, generating 31% of all media-driven sales delivered via telephone, 35% of all media-driven sales via bricks and mortar and 32% of media-driven sales through web traffic driven direct-to-site (including non-paid-for-search).

The study further found that TV was responsible for driving an indirect response through online channels, generating 32% of media-driven sales via paid-for online search; 30% of media-driven sales via online display and 20% of media-driven sales via affiliate marketing.

In addition to this, TV was responsible for 44% of all media-driven interactions for brands on Facebook (e.g. likes and comments). This effect of TV on Facebook was two-fold: firstly, exposure to TV advertising prompted consumers to directly engage with Facebook; secondly, TV drove significant volumes of sales and, after purchase, consumers went on to engage with Facebook.

Another finding from the research turns conventional wisdom on its head. For advertising focused on direct response, GroupM found that around 80% of total response was generated after a viewer had seen an ad for the first or second time.

This suggests that direct response campaigns should maximise reach and minimise the number of times the same person is exposed to an ad more than twice, rather than investing in daytime-only campaigns that tend to perform better for frequency.

"We need to change the way we plan and buy TV, a challenge for media agencies and media owners alike," said David Beale, Head of Response at MediaCom.

Data sourced from Thinkbox; additional content by Warc staff