TV advertising still dominates

bee-advertMore than half (52 per cent) of the UK public regard TV ads as the advertising format with the most impact, according to a report to by Deloitte.

However, the proportion of respondents ranking TV among their top three has fallen steadily over the past five years from a high of 64 per cent in 2009. Newspaper advertising’s impact has fallen from 30 per cent in 2009 to 14 per cent in 2013, with the impact of radio advertising fallen from 18 per cent in 2009 to 8 per cent over the same period.

Ed Shedd, head of Deloitte’s UK technology, media and telecoms practice said: “Television advertising continues to have a big impact on the public and capture their imagination because it consistently attracts a large audience, with a typical viewer watching more than four hours a day. Although we are over a decade into our digital revolution, for every hour spent watching television, we spend about three minutes on YouTube and two minutes on Facebook.”

The adverts are also writ large, with over 12 per cent of TV sets sold in 2012 over 42 inches or larger. In the UK there are close to a trillion adverts shown every year and there appears to be limited scope for further growth.

Television’s influence on Internet search and then subsequent sales is supported by Deloitte’s research. Over one in ten respondents (11 per cent) searched for a product having seen an advert or sponsorship on TV. Among 16-24 year olds, the proportion was 24 per cent. Overall 13 per cent of all respondents and 18 per cent of 16-24 year olds bought the product advertised.

Paul Lee, director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte said: “TV’s impact on purchasing is known, but there is no equivalent mechanism that traces its impact on purchasing online, although our research suggests this. Demonstrating the link between viewing and online activity could increase the value of TV advertising as it would provide evidence of TV’s ability to persuade consumers to buy goods on the spur of the moment.”

Deloitte’s research also highlights how TV campaigns can complement online sales, and TV’s ability to encourage consumers to buy new products and services. TV programmes and advertisements were the third most common reason for a spur of the moment purchase (14 per cent) compared to coming across it in a store (23 per cent) and a friend/family member recommending it (15 per cent). In contrast, Twitter persuaded only 1 per cent to buy, and seeing an advert in an app on a tablet or smartphone persuaded only 2 per cent.

One innovation that the TV industry should evaluate is addressable advertising, to deliver commercials with greater precision, based on aggregated sets of data on the household. The perception of traditional TV advertising is that many commercials are seen by people who are not target customers.

Lee concludes: “The ceiling for the number of TV adverts that can be shown may have been reached. The number of adverts seen per person each day rose steadily between 2007 (40) and 2011 (47), but has since changed little since. This may reflect the number of adverts UK viewers are willing to tolerate.”

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