Better Together - 3D Logo

This study was conducted in 2007. Since then, TV viewing options and internet-enabled devices have changed so please bear this in mind when reading the specific statistics within the study.

Pioneering research from Thinkbox and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has shown that using TV and online together in advertising campaigns is significantly more effective for advertisers than using either in isolation. Their combined use produces major benefits for advertisers, including dramatically increased positive brand perception amongst consumers – some 50% higher – as well as significantly greater likelihood of purchase.

Conducted by Q Media Research, this is the first time the effectiveness of using TV and online in tandem has been examined in depth. The sample focused specifically on ‘digital consumers’; people who own a digital TV and use broadband internet, and are medium to heavy users of each. Because the study focuses on the most ‘tech-savvy’ of the UK population – around 25% of its total – these results provide an indication of how future media consumption and consumer behaviour may develop.  In terms of their precise media usage, 64% of the sample stated that they sometimes watch TV while using the internet, whilst  48% stated that they did this most days.  

Key findings from the study include:

  • Using TV and online together results in 47% more positivity about a brand than using either in isolation
  • The likelihood of buying or using a product increases by more than 50% when TV and online are used together
  • 48% of the sample group watched broadcast TV while online, most days
  • Two thirds of this group have watched TV via online providers, primarily as a way to catch-up with broadcast TV and mainly from TV broadcasters’ websites
  • Both TV and the internet are used for entertainment (TV, 80%; online 56%) and both have a significant influence on driving purchase (75% and 52%)
  • The findings reinforce the need to  ensure creative synergy between TV and online advertising and identify best practice for better effectiveness, which requires more than simply putting TV ads online

 

Tess Alps

Tess Alps, Chief Executive of Thinkbox: “This research shows that TV and online are perfect partners and I would urge advertisers to recognise the greater impact they can have if they use both together. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  TV benefits from the way online offers a means of expressing and exploring the desires and motivation TV creates. Online usage is not displacing TV viewing and it is time to celebrate the complementarity of these two most powerful digital media.”

Guy-IABGuy Phillipson, Chief Executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau: “This important study delivers clear evidence of just how powerful and effective the TV and online combination is.  In all the categories we tested, the results were very positive for both ‘soft’ brand measures and ‘hard’ purchase intent scores.  Advertisers have been clamouring for more research about TV and online and, going forward, I’m certain these results will be highly influential to media planning.”

Methodology

The research comprised both quantitative and qualitative stages to gain a holistic view of how both media work together in UK marketing campaigns.

The quantitative stage used a demographically representative online sample of 3,011 respondents with both digital TV and broadband internet access.  It gauged the effectiveness of TV and internet advertising combined and how this can be exploited by advertisers to greater effect.

The qualitative element of the research featured engagement diaries in ten households, an online discussion forum and in-home observation of how people use and engage with TV and online in a natural context. The research featured advertising from three major brand categories: automotive, FMCG and finance.

Because the study focuses on the most ‘tech-savvy’ of the UK population – around 25% of its total – these results provide an indication of how future media consumption and consumer behaviour may develop. 

Motivation and Concurrent Behaviour

  • Almost half of the sample watch TV and go online at the same time on a daily basis.  This increases to 61% on a weekly basis.  Going online is second only to eating for activities that people are doing whilst the TV is on. 
  • Not surprisingly, researching/finding information (75%), and communication (66%) came out as the top two motivators for going online;and entertainment (80%) and relaxation (73%) came out as the top reasons for watching TV.  However, interestingly, the internet is increasingly becoming a destination for entertainment and relaxation with 56% of people saying that they go online for these reasons.  This is definitely something that we wouldn’t have seen a few years ago when the boundaries between the two media were much more defined.
  • Two thirds of people have watched TV/film via the internet, primarily as a way to catch up with broadcast television. 53% claimed to have done this via broadcaster websites and 45% claimed to have watched this on You Tube.  People having control over watching what they want when they want it is also important to consumers with 29% stating this as their reason.

Better Together - Slide 1 

The Roles of Both Media

  • Both media can fulfill a role across all stages, from telling consumers about a brand that they have never heard of before, to deciding which brands are more relevant to them and finally to purchase decisions.
  • However, using the two media together does provide a very powerful combination across the whole process.  Although this is not always the case, the relationship does tend to flow from TV to online by TV sparking initial interest, awareness and talkability, about a brand; and online providing consumers with the information they need to decide if the brand is relevant to them, to re-evaluate a brand, and to aid in decision making and ultimately purchase.

    This particular combination is very powerful in raising purchase consideration with television generally starting the process and online completing it.

Better Together - Slide 2 

  • Through our qualitative work we were able to gain insight into the relationship that consumers have with TV and the internet combined.  This can been seen in a number of different ways, from TV driving consumers online to online advertising re-enforcing TV messages.

Better Together - Slides 3-6

  • TV and online ads have a significant influence on driving purchase (75% and 52% respectively) with online being more likely to trigger online investigation and purchase and TV also doing this but having an even greater influence on offline purchase and talkability also.

    A number of key brand metrics rose considerably when both media were used together across all three of the categories examined.  In fact, the average of all six campaigns we used showed an uplift of 18 percentage point on brand metrics, with the likelihood of buying or using a product increasing by more than 50% when TV and online advertising is used together.
  • The findings reinforce the need to ensure creative synergy between TV and online advertising and identify best practice for effectiveness, which requires more than simply putting TV ads online:

o TV and Online campaigns need to have a consistent theme/message 

o The strength of each media need to be maximised (TV – excitement and impact.  Online – interaction and personalised engagement).

o Needs to be a high level of visual synergy.

o Rather than use online as a reach extension medium, it be used to target those who have seen the TV advertising to extend the message of the campaign.


Honda was just one of the examples that demonstrated successful synergy between both media.  Their brand and ad KPIs were considerably raised when respondents had seen both media due to the consistent theme used throughout really cutting through and getting the message across

Better Together - Slides 7

These uplifts wasn’t unique to Honda by any means - all the campaigns we used had a strong synergy between the TV and online media used and this worked particularly well on brand uplifts across all categories.

Better Together - Slides 8

Overall the study demonstrated the combined use of TV and online advertisingproduces major benefits for advertisers, including dramatically increased positive brand perception amongst consumers – some 50% higher.  It also significantlyincreases consideration and purchase over using either media in isolation.

TV & Online: Better together

Conducted by Q Media Research, this is the first time the effectiveness of using TV and online in tandem has been examined in depth.

For further information, please contact Nicole Greenfield-Smith, Head of Research, Thinkbox (nicole.greenfield-smith@@thinkbox.tv)

Associated content

Click the link above to view and download the PowerPoint presentaion for this research