Television retains a key role in building brands, but it may need fresh measurement solutions to fully demonstrate its value, according to a paper in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

Artie Bulgrin, EVP of insights and strategy at neuroscience research firm MediaScience, – and, for 21 years, ESPN’s global research and analytics chief – outlined this view in an article entitled, Why knowledge gaps in measurement threaten the value of television advertising – the best available screen for brand building is at a crossroads.

“None of its rival media match television’s ability to build brands, by virtue of the fact that more people watch television and its advertising,” he asserted.

That declaration was grounded in several pieces of evidence. “A full 87% of adults tune in to traditional linear television each week,” Bulgrin reported.

Elaborating on this theme, he revealed this audience “spends nearly 4.5 hours daily watching television content”. And TV, Bulgrin continued, “represents 80% of total adult daily video usage”, giving this channel an enviable position.

Nonetheless, he added: “As television evolves with digital ... gaps in knowledge about how to measure effectiveness are undermining advertisers’ confidence in the medium.”

The advent of new platforms and habits, for instance, have led to “widening gaps in knowledge related to measurement” and “eroding traditional television audiences – particularly younger viewers”, despite enabling greater targeting and addressability.

“Data demonstrate that companies gradually are increasing their investments in digital-video advertising, which is taking away investments in traditional TV advertising,” he said.

For TV to truly prove its value in the mix alongside digital, Bulgrin argued, “standardised, cross-platform measurement is necessary to truly leverage and balance television’s value at the top and the bottom of the marketing funnel”.

“Without relevant measures, television’s effectiveness will be limited for brand advertisers, and the overall future value of the medium will be jeopardised if it becomes too reliant on activation … proper, relevant measurement is necessary to preserve its value as a brand builder while enabling and balancing its future value as an addressable digital platform.”

“Why knowledge gaps in measurement threaten the value of television advertising” appears as a part of special “What We Know About TV in The Digital Age” section in JAR.

Sourced from JAR, WARC