Can TV's Own '38 Special" Hit The Mark For Marketers?

Focus on the screen -- you know, the real big, old-school one sitting in your living room.

New research shows that traditional TV advertising has 38 times the emotional engagement of online rich media -- perhaps the best, certainly most costly, digital advertising message around. These results come from a new Innerscope Research study for Fox Television Network tracking viewers' heartbeat, perspiration, respiration and eyeball movement.

The timing of this study -- released right before the upfront advertising market - is meant to cement the idea that TV is still the big gun for marketing impact.

It seems that digital advertising and digital video -- while still growing -- need to be seen as complementary to established forms of advertising. TV, however, can still work on its own, if needed.



The "38 times" figure stands out. Perhaps others might assume television to be twice as good as the Internet. Or maybe five times or ten times. But research pointing to a nearly forty-fold number has us scratching our heads.

Perhaps it's that traditional TV advertising doesn't "share" a page/screen with its content; it takes over completely. Display, search and social ads can share their messages with video or static content. Only with digital video does the advertising message replicate -- pretty closely -- what is seen on TV.

But perhaps even digital video - whether on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone -- may have a lesser effect.

Does this mean the TV upfront will garner some "38 times" revenues, CPM increases, or some other multiplying metric?

Nah. It's a nice TV sales push, though, and media agency executives might dissect it into tiny pieces. For example: even though engagement is high, TV still might not be targeting the right consumers. (Hello, addressable advertising!)

Internet/digital sellers will still say their platform -- right now anyway -- can get to the right consumer. You just have to deal with possible low-impact, e-emotional effects. Is that enough for TV advertisers unwilling to pay big expected CPM prime hikes? The answers are coming -- some day.

3 comments about "Can TV's Own '38 Special" Hit The Mark For Marketers? ".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, May 11, 2011 at 1:09 p.m.

    The study might be more persuasive had it not been commissioned by the party that seem to benefit most from it (Fox). If Hershey pays for a study that shows chocolate is good for you, then we must be suspicious. For example, was this study done over and over until the "right" results occur? Were there double-blind controls?

    I guess I'd like to really know, just how many of Innerscope clients are disappointed with the results of such research? Half? None?

  2. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, May 11, 2011 at 1:40 p.m.

    I agree this isn't a greatly reliable study.

    At the same time, I agree with the fundamental conclusion that a TV ad on TV (not web video) has far larger impact than anything online. In recent writing, I conjectured that when you need mass communication, TVs power is 100 while web power is a 5.

    This study also, wrongly, considers only emotional impact. Good TV ads are far more persuasive.

    So how do we hate the study, but consider that, even if arrived at wrongly, the results state a truth.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 11, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.

    That's rich ! Which witch is rich ? Fox Media ? Even if the 38X boiled down to 20X, that's rich media rich, rather than rich media. Or is TV still just a name of a screen ?

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