According to new data from The Nielsen Company, airing an ad both on TV and online greatly increases its effectiveness. In a Nielsen study of direct-to-consumer drug advertising, exposure on TV and online was more than twice as likely to prompt patients to ask their physician about the drug than on TV or internet alone. Compared to consumers who had only seen a TV ad for a specific drug, consumers who had seen both a TV and online ad were 100% more likely to ask their doctor about it.
Consumers who had been exposed to the ad both online and on TV in the last seven days were 157% more likely to ask their doctor about the drug than consumers who had only been exposed online in the last seven days.
And, when consumers who had been exposed to the ad both online and on TV in the last 24 hours, they were four times more likely to ask their doctor about the drug than consumers who had only been exposed online in the last 24 hours.
It turns out that two media are better than one in moving consumers from awareness to action, says the Nielsen study of direct-to-consumer drug advertising.
Ad Exposure on TV Plus Online (Index vs. 100)
Internet & TV vs. Internet Only (Past 24 Hours)
Internet & TV (Past 7 Days)
TV & Internet Exposure vs. TV Only
Intent to ask doctor
Source: The Nielsen Company, July 2010
TV is still the 800 pound gorilla of media consumption, with viewers glued to their sets over 158 hours per month. In fact, TV viewing has increased more than an hour a day in the last decade, far outpacing any other major media option, says the report
Time Spent Consuming Media Each Month (Hours & Minutes Per User)
Watching TV in the home
Watching timeshifted TV
Using the Internet
Watching video on the Internet
Mobile subscribers watching video on mobile phone
Source: The Nielsen Company, July 2010
Despite television's stranglehold on eyeballs, nearly 40% of people in homes with Internet access reported using the TV and Internet simultaneously at least once each week; multi-tasking online to blog, Facebook, Tweet or to instant message a friend.
Cross-exposure was particularly helpful to the brand communication of drug ads that were otherwise seen on TV only. Cross-exposed consumers had 103% greater brand communication than consumers only exposed on TV, while they had 91% greater brand communication than consumers only exposed online in the past seven days and 88% greater brand communication than consumers only exposed online in the past 24 hours.
Cross-exposure has a similar impact on an ad's memorability with consumers as it does on an ad's brand communication. Cross-exposed consumers had 100% greater memorability than consumers only exposed on TV, while they had 87% greater brand communication than consumers only exposed online in the past seven days and 89% greater brand communication than consumers only exposed online in the past 24 hours.
Since the Nielsen results show the impact when consumers are exposed to a brand message across platform, the company evaluated the impact on the schedule if dollars were moved from TV to online. Because of the size of the overall campaign, moving dollars from TV to online only generated small amounts of incremental reach and effective reach.
The study found that the larger impact on the schedule, if dollars were moved from TV to online, is capitalizing on cross-platform media synergies. The percent of targeted who were reached on both TV and online more than doubles, from 7.5% of the patient universe to 18.1%.
Consumer engagement proved a critical element influencing advertising effectiveness. Nielsen research indicates that when viewers pay more attention to a program (engagement), they also pay more attention to the advertising that airs within the program. Adding program engagement and target development indices into the buying equation, the most effective network TV schedule included drama/adventure, situation comedy and reality programming, which in turn reduced the media cost by 35% per person.
Initially, says Nielsen, traditional media targeting and media buying was based exclusively on age and gender. As advertisers became more sophisticated, progressive media targeting models added additional variables to the mix such as family profile and lifestyle. Currently, an innovative media targeting model fuses the best of all worlds into a single, cross-platform view that allows an advertiser to identify the individual media and cross-media allocations that best reach their intended marketing target.
Each media, the study found, has its time, place and audience. TV has its greatest influence at the early stages of the decision cycle, making consumers aware, creating interest, and stimulating product desire The Internet feathers into the buying process when interested consumers gravitate to the web to learn more about the product, investigate size, color, flavor and other options, download coupons, instructions or warranties, and often, to make the actual purchase.
As an example, Nielsen evaluated one national pharmaceutical advertiser who wanted to optimize their media mix by effectively reaching the target audience defined broadly as Males 50+. While Males 50+ is the closest match to the core target, not every target is over 50, and not every Male 50+ is a target. With innovative targeting available, Nielsen was able to evaluate media against all targets, regardless of age.
Adding program engagement and sufferer development indices into the buying equation, the most effective network TV schedule included drama/adventure, situation comedy and reality programming, which in turn reduced the media cost by 35% per person.
For more about the study, please visit Nielsen here.