TV and other media

All communication channels are valuable and worth exploring, be they sandwich bags, shelf-wobblers or a major sports sponsorship. After all, people lead multi-media lives. But every medium has its own qualities and strengths, and many media work better when paired with another.

Key points

  • TV advertising consistently makes other elements of advertising campaigns work harder
  • TV’s beneficial effect can be felt by all accompanying media. For radio advertising, the multiplier effect of TV advertising can be greater than 100% and is up to 50% for press and outdoor
  • TV and online synergy is particularly large. Campaigns that use TV and online together are twice as efficient as those that incorporate brand advertising with other kinds of activation channels
  • As well as its powerful direct effects, TV is  responsible for driving an indirect response through online channels, generating 33% of media-driven sales via paid-for online search; 26% of media-driven sales via online display and 20% of media-driven sales via affiliate marketing
  • TV is responsible for driving 33% of all media driven interactions for brands on Facebook, e.g. likes and comments

Media-planners’ responsibility is to make decisions about how a communications budget can be most effectively deployed to fulfil the client’s brief. It sounds simple, but we all know it most certainly is not. And it’s getting more complex every day. This means we have to understand a great deal more about media than just usage numbers and cost-rankings, important those these are.

That’s why Thinkbox have invested a great deal of time in trying to understand how TV works alongside other media. Below are a few key facts and figures from our studies:

The hidden effect of TV

In our study TV Response: New rules, new roles, we explored the role of media in driving a response to advertising in the short, medium and long term.  A key element of this project was to understand how different media channels contribute to overall sales throughout the duration of a campaign, breaking down the direct effect TV has, but also the in-direct effect it has through online media channels such as paid for search, online display and affiliate marketing.

This part of this study was based on an econometric analysis of 15 advertisers from a number of different categories who collectively accounted for over £400m of media spend. It found that: 

  • TV drives a response through several channels directly, generating 25% of all sales delivered via telephone, 45% of sales via bricks & mortar and 29% of sales through web traffic driven direct-to-site (including non-paid-for-search).
  • TV is also responsible for driving an indirect response through online channels, generating 33% of sales via paid-for online search; 26% via online display and 20% via affiliate marketing.
  • In addition to this GroupM found that TV is responsible for driving 33% of all media driven response for brands on social media (e.g. likes and comments).



Advertising on TV boosts other media

TV advertising’s ‘multiplier effect’ consistently makes other elements of a campaign work harder.

TV’s positive effects are felt across other awareness building channels: for radio advertising this effect can be greater than 100% and up to 50% for press and outdoor.


TV advertising increases branded search

The same study found that the amount of branded searches created by TV advertising on search engines such as Google has increased by 33% per rating point during 2011-14 compared with 2008-11. It is likely this has been encouraged by the increase in ‘multi-screening’ – using an internet connected device while watching TV. Multi screening is great for TV as it enables viewers to respond in an instant. In addition, the proportion of brands featuring specific online calls to action in their TV ads has increased from 2% in 2005 to 16% in 2013.

Source: Payback4: Pathways to Profit, 2014

Read more about the study here

TV + Online: better together

Brand and response are more efficient together, but the synergies between TV and online turn out to be particularly large.  When people are watching TV these days, they are very often online.  They’ve got smartphones, they’ve got laptops, they’ve got iPads, so if they see a TV ad that they like and they find interesting, they can go online and find out more.  So, what that’s doing is effectively it’s turning every TV ad into a direct response ad. 


Source: Advertising Effectiveness: the long and short of it. 2013 IPA

To read more about this study, click here

TV + Twitter

Recent years have seen a growing relationship between TV viewing and Twitter usage. The relationship is strongly symbiotic: Twitter users love talking about what is happening on TV and TV viewers love using Twitter to see other viewers’ opinions about shows they love. Along with Twitter we commissioned research to learn more about this; what motivates people to use the two in parallel and how can advertisers be a welcome part of these conversations?

The research looked at brands that had recently used both TV and Twitter together to understand the positive brand effects of this media combination. The Sainsbury’s case study showed that their integrated approach led to positive emotional brand response, increased purchase intent and an uplift in key brand attributes.


How advertisers can plan for TV and Twitter

There are three levels of integration between TV and Twitter activity depending on a brand’s market and aims:

  • Integration: where a TV campaign is planned and executed with specific Twitter content and activity built in and around it from the outset
  • Anticipation: being more thoughtful of how Twitter and TV will work together in the brand strategy. Brands need to plan ahead for TV moments and prepare content to take full advantage of them . They need to include hashtags on their TV ads, but these hashtags need to have a clear purpose - e.g. driving people to a ‘promoted trend’ to find out more information about a product and move consumers along the purchase journey
  • Association: at the simplest level, if a brand is not advertising on TV, it can still be associated with television content. Customers will be watching TV and there is an opportunity to contribute

Read more about this study

TV advertising is crucial to generating brand conversations

An analysis by Data2Decisions investigated which brand activities create new, ‘earned’ word of mouth in addition to the heritage, market and seasonal factors which make up the ongoing ‘base’ level of brand conversation. The research revealed the factors that create additional WoM for brands. They are, in order of influence: TV advertising, which creates half (51%) of additional WoM; PR / events / brand news (19%); online search, display and affiliate site advertising (12%); changes to brand products or services (9%); print advertising (4%); outdoor advertising (2%); direct mail (1.5%); cinema advertising (1%); and radio advertising (0.5%). In total, 72% incremental brand conversations are driven by paid-for advertising.

Source: POETIC (Paid, Owned, Earned: TV's Influence Calculated), 2013

Read more about this study


Audience profiles

Headline facts and figures for the key TV buying audiences, from their universe size to the average number of ads they view per day.


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