TV advertising starts working immediately and carries on delivering for years into the future. However, its powerful short-term effects can often be hidden, overlooked, or underappreciated.
Instant often means online. Thanks to having mobile devices always at hand, all TV ads can be acted on immediately: viewers can go online to research brands they have seen on TV, join in with social elements in TV campaigns, and instantly buy products.
If you want a symbol of TV’s rapid effects, look no further than the fact that online businesses are now the biggest category of advertiser on TV, accounting for 20% of all TV ad spend. They see the instant impact TV gives them, not least the dramatic effect TV has on online search.
Econometric analysis by Magic Numbers found that TV advertising gives online businesses an immediate, visible response. There is a clear relationship between TV activity and web traffic. Across the ten brands modelled in the study, TV drove 42% of all web visits, some 50 million in total. This uplift was seen regardless of the level of investment.
In fact, TV also makes search work harder. Magic Numbers also found that TV drives cheaper online journeys for advertisers because it prompts people to go to the brand directly or search for the brand specifically rather than just the category. Generic paid search (i.e. Googling the category) costs advertisers more than Brand paid search.
TV also brings people with the right ‘level of intent’ to a site, people have already understood the proposition and are ready to buy. These people are more likely to complete the purchase journey.
And, crucially, TV’s instant impact doesn’t just translate into action but into profit. Ebiquity has shown that TV is responsible for two thirds (62%) of all the measured short-term profit generated by media investment.