Online Brands + TV: An Unlikely Love Affair
01 March 2017 • tvsquared

Thinkbox reported that online brands spent $757 million on TV in the UK in 2016 – more than any other category. Businesses like ComparetheMarket, Amazon and Shop Direct greatly invested in TV last year – and that’s not changing anytime soon.

What’s so interesting is that, at least at first glance, the relationship between online brands and TV is not such an obvious synergy. For companies deeply engrained in digital, wouldn’t online advertising carry more weight? But when you look at it closely, TV for online brands makes a lot of sense.

The Kicker Effect

A whopping 87% of viewers watch TV with a second-screen device nearby, and the average person in the UK spends 39 minutes a day using the Internet while watching. TV poses a huge opportunity for online brands.

We are all active-participation TV viewers – when we see something interesting, we immediately engage. And this isn’t conjecture, TV’s “kicker effect” is proven. TV ads have been found to generate website traffic, increase search by up to 80% and promote app installs between 56-75%. Is there a better type of business to take advantage of this than an online brand?

Killer Combos: Reach and Time, Likeability and Trust

At “Clickety Boom: Why Online Brands Love TV,” Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox’s chief executive, spoke about the appeal of TV for online brands. She noted TV’s “killer combination of reach and time spent,” which makes it ideal for quickly creating awareness and establishing market presence.

According to Clay, people in the UK watch 4:35 of TV a day. During that time, they consume an average of 18.5 minutes of ads – accounting for close to 90% of all video ad time.

Studies have also found TV ads to be one of the most trusted sources when it comes to purchasing decisions. Clay noted that TV ads are the most liked type of ads too – 54% compared to the next highest channel, social media, at 13%.

Digital Issues and Overall Value  

Problems with digital advertising have pushed many online brands toward TV – either coming back to TV or turning to it as a completely new medium.

Only 50% of display ads are viewable, and ad fraud, including click fraud and bot traffic, accounted for $18.5 billion in lost ad spend in 2015. eMarketer estimates that 27.5% of all Internet users (41% of Millennials) will employ ad blocking by the end of 2017. And some advertisers have voiced concerns about a lack of transparency in digital – wanting more control over where ads appear, especially as fake news sites flourish.

Advertisers have also found that the point of diminishing returns with TV comes far later vs. digital. Both immediate and long-term value can be tied to TV. A Thinkbox study revealed that every £1 spent on TV advertising generated £1.79 in profit. ABC found that TV was unmatched in term of long-term ROI, with an average increase of 10%+ compared to standalone digital campaigns.

When you think about it, it’s not surprising that online brands have fully embraced TV. It works well on its own and in conjunction with other channels. It offers advertisers unprecedented scale and reach, drives online and offline response and offers quantifiable immediate and long-term value. The technology exists to measure TV in real-time, track its influence across the customer journey improve campaign performance in-flight. It’s a no brainer.