A British Tremor Video research study co-funded by the Internet Advertising Bureau in the United Kingdom finds that online video advertising does a good job reaching light television viewers. But for heavy viewers—they’ve already gotten the message, lots of times.
Online video is also surprisingly effective when advertisers extend a TV campaign by continuing the advertisements in online pre-roll.
Although there’s a big body of water between the U.S. the U.K., the results are applicable on this side of the pond, says Doron Wesly, Tremor’s head of market research.
The study shows that viewers’ unaided awareness improves when online video (called VOD overseas) is added to a TV campaigns. Nielsen did the research for Tremor.
That awareness bump is mainly true with light TV viewers—defined here as people watching less than two hours a day. The fact is, online video advertising doesn’t have much of an impact on people who are moderate to heavy TV viewers, according to this survey.
It’s like this: A light viewer is likely to see a targeted ad only once during its two month ad campaign on TV. A heavy viewer is likely to see it five times, or more. So for the light viewer, that online exposure is important. For the heavy viewer, it is nearly overkill.
If an advertiser keeps advertising online after the big-budget TV campaign ends, there’s pretty good evidence that the extension will do good things for awareness.
In one of the companies in the study, 33% of the respondents could name the brand unaided, before the combined TV/online campaign began.
After a two-month TV and online video campaign, that percentage raised to 39%.
The advertiser let the campaign run a month longer online. There, awareness jumped to 41%.
The Tremor study also shows online video advertising fights message “decay.”
In another part of the study, 29% of survey participants could link an insurance company's brand to its commercial message. After a two month TV-and-online campaign, that message association increased to an impressive 48% of TV and online users.
The brand ran an “extra” month online. Afterward, 32% of those who were exposed to the online extension could correctly associate the brand to its pitch. That’s a far cry from 48% while the campaign was just over.
But it’s better than the intial 29%. And it is significantly better than the 26% the TV-only crowd had dipped to in short order after the campaign ended.
“When you are doing bursts of advertising, you are getting impact,” says Wesly. “The moment you go dark, your message drops off significantly. And it will cost you so much more to build it back.”
That’s the boom-and-bust pattern advertisers tried to impress upon advertisers at the heart of the recession. Trimming advertising as a budget measure tends to come back to bite you later on.
Light TV viewers aren’t a small bunch of librarians. Wesly says says data shows the two-hours-or-less contingent is 26% of the population in the United Kingdom, similar to the U.S. That should be a target for advertisers trying to build awareness.
The UK research complements Tremor Video’s US spring 2013 ad campaign, “TV with Benefits” which aims to show how TV and video ad campaigns can go together to build brands.
The study took place October 2011–November 2012. The IAB in the United Kingdom released the study last week.
The idea of the study, originally, was to see if online plus TV could increase incremental reach, Wesly says. The results were so slight, “everybody was pretty upset,” he laughs, remembering that getting percentage points are always hard to gain in the ad biz. “Nothing gives you 10% more blah, blah, blah,” he says. But the new data, about light viewers and extending campaigns helps prove another Wesly theory: “All research makes you smarter.”