Television, Search Cross-Media Campaigns Require Timing

Radio and broadcast television still have value in reaching consumers, especially when paired with search engine marketing. I can think of several successful campaigns combining TV and search, such as Geico, Whirlpool and Maytag, and Dish Networks. These brands continue to create some of my favorites.

When it comes to combining television and search advertising, timing is everything. When running paid-search advertisements along with television or radio, consider these time slots.

A report from Nielsen, released Monday, analyzes how the ways that people consume media changes throughout the day. Marketers should consider the timing when running search advertisements, especially when crossing media into TV and/or radio during the same time.

During the weekdays, radio use spikes between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time, with a 40% device share during the heaviest usage hour at 7 a.m. -- surpassing even television. Between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., television accounts for at least 50% of all media use, peaking at 9:00 p.m. when it makes up almost two-thirds of the total audience. 

Nielsen says it's not just traditional television and radio that see hourly trends. TV-connected devices -- game consoles or devices like Roku or Apple TV -- increase their share of audiences into the late evening.

Video use on PCs, smartphones and tablets rose nearly 20% year-over-year among adults, and the greatest increase in digital video usage has been during the overnight and early morning hours, when the convenience of grabbing a smartphone overpowers the thought of reaching for a remote. The smartphone is the first thing I reach for in the morning, and sometimes it's to watch local news on the phone.

Nielsen's numbers agree. Between 5 AM a.m. and 8 a.m., video viewing rose 38% in the past year. The 9 p.m. hour has shown the greatest growth in digital platform use, with an increase of 700,000 adults using a digital platform in May 2015 compared with the year-ago month.

6 comments about "Television, Search Cross-Media Campaigns Require Timing".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 21, 2015 at 5:47 p.m.

    "Radio and TV still have value in reaching consumers---", Laurie, TV remains by a wide margin, the dominant medium for branding advertisers. No other medium, including digital, is even close----no matter what the ad spend figures, which include lots of non-branding dollars, suggest. While reaching a consumer exactly when he/she is interested in a product sounds fine-----providing you know when this is the case----most media and/or media mix decisions by branding advertisers are based primarily on their perceptions of the communicative impact of their ads as conveyed by TV versus radio, print or digital.When consumers use each platform, is, for the most part, a secondary consideration.

    As it happens, I have always championed the "timing" factor---like airing diet product ads on Sundays, when many people decide for the unpteenth time to go on a diet, or pitching iced tea only on days when the temperture is 85 degrees or higher. However, whenever I got some client's attention with this rather obvious idea,  the "wrong" medium was the best way to accomplish this end. Or the types of program content---like Sunday AM TV----weren't "suitable" demographically or image-wise. In other words, raw audience data, across platforms, and attendent demographics or CPMs are usually trumped---no pun intended----by other factors.

  2. Andreas Schroeter from wywy, September 22, 2015 at 8:15 a.m.


    We have done som studies on how TV ads impact search behaviour, linking search campaigns to the exact moment the TV ad aired. TV inspires people to search more about the product they just saw, in Suzuki's case the search traffic more than doubled right after the TV airing (more info here:

    That said, I agree with Ed that the moment matters. Syncing your TV and paid search campaigns makes sense in general but carefully selecting the times for when your audience is "in the right mood" matters even more. Be it diet ads on Sunday or dating ads on Sunday. Or job portal ads on news channels as people think about their job and career opportunities more than when watching something else.

  3. Benny Radjasa from Armonix Digital, Inc., September 22, 2015 at 4:38 p.m.

    Radio and broadcast television still have value in reaching consumers, but TV viewership is eroding quickly as fragmentation grows.  Check out this article on fall TV season,

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 22, 2015 at 5:41 p.m.

    Benny the fact that the TV viewing "pie" is being split ever finer among more competing channels, as well as by some losses to SVOD service content does not mean that TV is losing most of its audience. The figures cited in various articles refer to the average minute audience  of various networks, which, of course, are down. And, yes, a certain number of viewers have more or less abandoned the broadcast TV networks almost entirely. But if you are an advertiser who wants to communicate with 100% viewable ads, using TV at a reasonable CPM and you want to attain a monthly reach of 60-70% of your target audience, there's no problem. Instead of using only two or three broadcast channels, as before, you divide your budget among 10-15 channels, including cable, and you get your monthly reach. What's more, over longer periods of time---three months or a year--- your reach will probably be higher--say, 80-85%---as more "new viewers" are added. But, now you will have to wait longer to get these late comers than was once the case.

    Being objective, I must note that the days when a well budgeted broadcast TV buy, using all dayparts and primetime, in particular, guaranteed an advertiser virtually total coverage ( 95%+ ) are clearly over. In fact, Media Dynamics Inc is about to offer subscribers  a new set of TV reach tables which we have developed exclusively that reflect the newly emerging reach ceilings on "linear TV" especially among the 18-34s and upscale adults---who are the primary defectors. These reveal that TV still delivers quite decent reach attainment at various GRP levels----but not as high as 10-15 years ago. Once they understand this, advertisers and agencies will have to adjust their media plans to blend in more platforms if they really intend to maximize their reach----or set their sights somewhat lower.

  5. Benny Radjasa from Armonix Digital, Inc. replied, September 23, 2015 at 1:52 p.m.

    Well Ed, yes eroding user base and ever increasing fragmentation does not mean TV losing most of its audience, that is right.  Traditional TV still have plenty of users based that will be eroded in the coming years, much like lifecycle of radio, magazine, and newspapers experienced.

    But here is the deal, in order to overcome fragmentation, the cost of buying media will go up, generally speaking of course.   Cheaper to negotiate 1-2 contracts as oppose to 10-15 contracts.   It all comes to money.

  6. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 23, 2015 at 2:22 p.m.

    You are perfectly right, Benny, and the issue of buying workloads is now a matter of discussion between some of the agencies and their larger clients. The letter have squeezed agency buying fees down to the bone and will probably have to allow for increases---especially for digital and cable---- or face the possibility that their agency buyers will not be willing to scan all possible avails or deal with all possible sellers at their current fee levels.

    While some willl say that "progarmmatic" buying is the solution to this problem--- it isn't. Aside from the likliehood that the big sellers will not participate and the most desired content will not be offered via programmatic, the system simply can not handle all of the post buy adjustments, schedule changes, make good deals, etc. that are involved in most TV buys. I'm afraid that advertisers will have to pay more than they are used to if they expect the agencies to cover all of the likely bases in every buy.

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