Research from Discovery Networks and the Future Foundation has revealed the power and resilience of television advertising with audiences in Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), in a period which has seen a surge in ownership of connected devices, a rapid increase in time spent online and a trend towards multi-screen viewing across the region. In this context, over half of consumers across CEEMEA markets say they watch at least 3 hours of television daily, and more than 70 per cent agree that TV quality would be compromised without advertising. In their view, the future belongs to quality, personalised and multi-screen advertising that allows for deeper conversations between consumers and brands.
The Discovery Networks report, The Future of TV Advertising, conducted in cooperation with the Future Foundation and Research Now, surveyed 3,000 TV viewers across 10 CEEMEA markets: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and UAE, in addition to in-depth interviews with a panel of industry experts. The CEEMEA region covers 26.1 per cent of the world’s viewing audience – a total of 1.866 billion people with 16.5 per cent of the world’s spending power.
Dorota Zurkowska-Bytner, VP Ad Sales Development, Discovery Networks CEEMEA commented on the findings: “In the multi-screen world, TV remains a very dominant part of the media mix. Research shows that viewers clearly understand the funding relationship between advertising and content, and are open to new ad formats. So there are many reasons to be positive about the future of TV advertising, as we see the evolution of a savvy viewing audience who will reward engaging and relevant advertising content, and use the multiple devices at their fingertips to enter even deeper brand conversations.”
Among the findings:
TV is king & TV advertising works
· Television continues to be the dominant media platform. Over 50 per cent of CEEMEA consumers watch at least 3 hours of television every day, with 1 in 6 watching over 5 hours per day
· Over 70 per cent of viewers across the region agree that TV quality would be compromised without advertising, rising to over 80 per cent in Romania and South Africa
· Half of the viewers across CEEMEA (70 per cent in Bulgaria) admitted to looking up products or services online after watching ads on TV
The optimal length of ad breaks has not been found yet
· CEEMEA consumers would generally prefer longer, less frequent breaks
· TV providers must balance consumer wishes with what is right for brands, namely not being part of an ad tunnel – particularly important since the report shows that 70 per cent of consumers remember 5 or less advertisements in one day
Channels drive engagement
“A strong channel brand will drive high volumes to the channel and having done so it’s creating an affinity with their audience to make them more receptive to the type of advertising… If a channel is good and smart then it helps you set a strong brand and a strong brand delivers relevant, appropriate advertising.” (Neil Hardwick, CEO of Group M in Russia)
· Almost 60 per cent of consumers across the CEEMEA region agreed that the TV channel they watch is a good indicator of the quality of content, and therefore the quality of advertising they will receive, rising to 70 per cent of South African audiences.
· 1 in 3 CEEMEA viewers agree that advertising on trusted channels is more impactful, even though the positive effect is largely subconscious
TV advertising is more effective when linked to the second screen
· Consumers agree advertising across multiple media channels delivers greater impact – with over 70 per cent of consumers in South Africa, Turkey, Romania, UAE and Bulgaria agreeing on the impact of 360 degree campaigns
· Evidence shows that multi-screen lifestyles can actively reinforce rather than dilute TV advertising effectiveness with 50 per cent viewers surveyed having gone online to look up a product or service, having just viewed an advertisement on their television, rising to 70 per cent of viewers in Bulgaria
“A ten second sponsorship message can have a lot more impact and create a lot more positive associations than a thirty second TV ad because you’re watching the programme, this is part of the programme viewing and, again you’re prepared to make those associations as long as it’s done sensitively and creatively.” (David Brennan, Media Native)
· The majority of consumers in CEEMEA understand the role of sponsorship. Over 70 per cent of viewers in South Africa, Bulgaria and Ukraine say they’re comfortable with sponsored programmes.
· Almost a third of CEEMEA viewers say they are more likely to purchase a product if it sponsors a program.
· Product placement is also regarded as positive. 1 out of 3 consumers doesn’t find it distracting. Over 50 per cent of viewers in South Africa, the UAE and Bulgaria would allow product placement on TV. Viewers in Turkey, Romania and Poland are also more likely to accept it.
The future is personalised
· Over 50 per cent of consumers across the region are interested in receiving tailored advertising
· 80 per cent are interested in being able to skip through ads to choose and view the advertising most relevant to them
· Over 50 per cent of consumers in Poland, UAE and South Africa find ads which speak to them directly the most memorable, demonstrating the benefits of tailored content to both viewers and brands alike
· Half of consumers across the region would like the ability to directly engage with and purchase what they have seen on screen with 50 per cent interested in a click-through service to buy products directly