A new analysis from Comcast Cable’s sales division, Effectv, and the TVSquared attribution platform found significant lifts in website engagement for brands that had a consistent television presence during Q1, and a decline for those that didn’t.
Among hundreds of advertiser clients analyzed in Q1 2020, those that remained on air experienced 23% more website engagement in subsequent weeks, on average. Those that went off air saw website visits drop by an average of 20%.
“During times of crisis, staying on air helps to maintain brand presence and triggers a ‘memory effect’ among consumers, say the researchers. The national shelter-at-home guideline was issued near the end of March, after U.S. COVID-19 cases had begun to rise rapidly.
Crisis-relevant creative also helped. Between March and April, brands that ran COVID-19-related creative saw an average lift of 37%, while those that did not saw 13% lift.
But maintaining an ongoing TV schedule was even more important. Brands that ran consistent, week-by-week schedules of pandemic-focused ads saw a 41% increase in immediate visitors, on average, while those that ran pandemic-focused ads but had inconsistent schedules actually saw visitors decrease by 21%, on average, according to the report.
Looking at week-by-week trends between January and May 2020, brands with direct-to-consumer offerings had the highest rates of TV-attributed website response. These included e-commerce retail (+100%), online food delivery (+84%) and education (+41%).
Categories that saw dips in website traffic included automotive, insurance and travel. While automotive and insurance showed signs of recovery by late April, travel was still experiencing weakened traffic, dipping as much as 80% compared to pre-COVID levels.