Latest key facts

  • People watch the majority of their TV live; 88% of viewing on a TV set in H1 2014 was viewed live

  • Commercial viewing dominates with a 65% share

  • Total commercial impacts were down by 4.3% compared to the same period last year, meaning the average viewer saw 45 TV ads a day.

  • Linear viewing and impacts are down in part because of the vastly improved weather and economy during Jan-Jun 2014 which have encouraged people out of their homes more and naturally lead to a little less linear TV being watched.

  • The top five viewed TV advertisers over this period were P&G, Sky, Reckitt Benckiser, Mars and L’Oreal

TV in Depth

  • 2013 was another great year for commercial TV. Record TV advertising revenues reflect a golden age of TV content and an expanding medium helping advertisers find new ways to tap into its unrivalled effectiveness.
  • How much TV are we watching? Lots of it and on more screens and in more places than ever before. This is a golden age of TV and the viewing figures reflect how TV continues to be our favourite leisure pursuit.
  • Long-term TV advertisers, together with hundreds of new or returning brands in 2013, helped make it a record year for TV advertising spend, and forecasts suggest that 2014 may be even better.
  • Congratulations to all 2014’s BAFTA winners – and especially to those winners from commercial TV. Their brilliance helps maintain British TV’s world-beating reputation and ensures that commercial TV remains the most effective environment for advertisers. Congratulations to all!
  • Thinkbox’s annual review unsurprisingly focuses on the commercial side of TV. But there’s another side of TV that isn’t celebrated as much: how TV and TV advertising make the world a better place. Alongside the indubitable power of televisual entertainment to bring joy to people, TV also has the ability to encourage us to lead healthier, better, more socially-minded lives. Here’s an overview of how TV does good.
  • We know advertising pays back for individual advertisers, but to what extent does it actually boost the economy? ‘Advertising Pays’, a Deloitte report commissioned by the Advertising Association, sets out to quantify and qualify the economic effects of the £16bn spent on advertising in the UK every year. It finds that for every £1 spent on advertising, the economy grows by £6. This amounts to a £100bn effect on total GDP. Here you can find out how and why advertising will play a key role in revitalising our economy, along with insight and reaction from Cilla Snowball CBE, Nicola Mendelsohn, Gavin Patterson and The Rt. Hon. Maria Miller MP: essential reading.
  • PHD, Drum and Grey London’s content-led campaign for the British Heart Foundation not only scooped the Grand Prix, but also picked up ‘Best Ongoing Use of TV’ award. Other winners included Vizeum, Manning Gottlieb OMD, UM London, Starcom MediaVest, Mindshare UK and M2M. Here you can watch some short films about these brilliant and effective campaigns, read the entry summaries, find out who won what, take a peek at some photos from the ceremony and download the book of the night.
  • 2013 was another great year for TV creativity and this was reflected in the winners of The Thinkboxes, the bi-monthly creative awards scheme which celebrates the best of TV advertising in all its forms. Here you can browse the very best of 2013 and find out about the people behind the work.

TV at a Glance

TV today has more to offer advertisers than ever before, not least because this growing medium remains at the heart of popular culture and advertising effectiveness. This part of our website is designed to give you a snapshot of what’s been going on in commercial television. You can catch up with our latest monthly TV report, and review all the key facts and figures for commercial TV in 2012 - TV viewing, TV advertising investment, TV technologies, broadcaster highlights and programme awards – or follow some quick links to some of the most creative and effective campaigns of 2012.

Associated content

  • Inform. Inspire. Involve. That’s exactly what Thinkbox seeks to do and our research is no exception. Here you can delve into a fascinating body of work, both past and present, to help you get to grips with how TV works, why it works, and how it will develop in the future.
  • Thinkbox hosts a rolling programme of inspirational events, all designed to help people understand how to get the best of TV. Here you can find out what’s coming up next and also view presentations and films from our previous events.
  • Here you can download a PDF of ‘A year in TV 2013’, Thinkbox’s review of what was an incredible year for TV. From the key numbers on viewing and advertising investment to creative, programming and planning highlights, this handy document is packed full of facts, figures and opinion, all of which we hope you find inspiring and useful. Please feel free to pass it on, if you do.

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