SYDNEY: Television remains the most effective form of advertising compared to Facebook and YouTube, according to new research by Dr Karen Nelson-Field.

Her study found that in an average ad second, overall TV commanded more attention with twice the active viewing of YouTube and 15 times that of Facebook.

The research team created an attention app which was designed to initiate the camera on desktop computers and track when a user was looking at the screen: by measuring five frames per second, the app could track active viewing, when the user was looking at the screen, inactive viewing, when they were not and passive viewing, when a person looked at the screen but not directly at the ad - such as when they scrolled through a Facebook newsfeed.

A later iteration of the study included mobile devices, to reflect the popularity of mobile devices for content consumption. (Read more on the methodologies and findings of Dr. Karen Nelson-Field’s research here: Research proves the power and effectiveness of TV across devices.)

“We extended the model to intersect ad load on Facebook on mobile, using the same ads that were then sent to the virtual store,” Nelson-Field explained.

“We did the same for YouTube and we did it for TV as well – because if you’re going to say that mobile is optimum, at the end of the day, that’s not a platform. That’s a device.”

Dr Nelson-Field advised that visibility is affected by three things: coverage (the proportion of the screen that the ad covers); clutter (what’s going on around the ad and pixels); and visibility (how much of the ad is on the screen at any time).

The research found that pixels improved on mobile, particularly with YouTube as many viewers watched the content in full screen. The study optimised for viewing orientation and found no ads were watched horizontally in full-screen view on Facebook but 15% were on YouTube.

But for TV, viewing on mobile was 100% pixels across the board.

The research concluded that Facebook coverage, on average, is about 10% of the screen compared to YouTube which is about 30%. By comparison, TV always displays 100% pixels, 100% coverage, 100% of the time.

“What we did find is – without a doubt – visibility does matter,” Nelson-Field stated.

“In particular, coverage and pixels matter a lot. We found strong relationships between coverage and sales, coverage and attention, and attention increases with pixels and coverage.”

Sourced from WARC