Online advertising boosts brand awarenesss of TV ads: study

MUMBAI: Consumers don't experience media in a vacuum. Many research studies are establishing the fact that at any one time, half the people watching TV will be opening their mail, surfing the web, or listening to the radio. Yet media planners for the most part continue to plan in isolation, considering each medium as a separate element of a campaign, rather than binding them together.

While synergy certainly makes sense, there hasn't been much data to argue that it produced measurably better results. Well, now there is, and it relates to synergies between television and the Internet. According to a study done by New York-based research firm Dynamic Logic, adding online advertising to a TV campaign boosts brand awareness, but the inclusion does little to impact purchasing decisions.



The firm examined 10 cross-media studies in which TV and online advertising and found that the Web is a particularly effective medium for reinforcing a brand's sponsorship of an event, cause or other entity. When respondents were exposed to Internet ads, sponsorship association increased nearly 16 points, more than doubling TV's impact.

"The most interesting fact is that we are actually able to conduct these types of cross-media studies," says Dynamic Logic vice president of research analytics Bill Havlena.

"It means that the metrics - both brand and persuasion metrics, such as purchase intent and brand awareness - are comparable for both TV and online, as opposed to online-only measurements such as click-through," he adds.

Dynamic Logic evaluated five criteria namely aided brand awareness, message association, sponsorship association, brand favorability and purchase intent/consideration were evaluated in 10 cross-media campaigns over the past two years. The study found that sponsorship and message association are most affected by television advertising, compared to the baseline of individuals who are not exposed to any advertising.

Television advertising increases sponsorship association 12.7 per cent over the baseline and improves message association by 12.5 per cent. Both measurements were also the most affected by the addition of an online campaign. Sponsorship association increased to 28.4 per cent over the baseline with online activity, and message association grew to 19.9 per cent.

The only criterion that did not improve significantly with the addition of online efforts is purchase intent/consideration, which showed 5.0 per cent improvement with television but only an additional 0.4 per cent improvement with incremental online efforts.

While the results of the analysis of the 10 campaigns aren't conclusive, Havlena says they give directional insight into the value of television and the Internet working together.

"Advertisers are interested in becoming more synergistic. They are producing ads that complement each other across various media, and they want to be able to look at the performance of their ads across various media types in a comparable way," he says.

Carton Donofrio Partners chief experience officer Sean Carton says multimedia efforts aren't just a futuristic trend but integral to current strategies. "Synergy isn't the way things are going. It's the way things are right now. Being at every point where a customer can touch your company is vital and obvious for anyone who wants to have the most effective strategy. It makes basic media sense. More people who see the message in whatever medium means more awareness," he says.

Carton says part of the reason the Internet is not being better utilised by advertisers has to do with media planners, measurements and standards.

He says the cultural differences between traditional media planners and online media planners have yet to be bridged in many agencies. In addition, measurement tools for serving and tracking buys tend to be cost-prohibitive for many small and mid-sized shops.

"Also, online suffers from lack of standards. At this point, the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), AAAA (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and MRC (Media Rating Council) still haven't arrived at a standard for what counts as an impression - pretty basic stuff. They're working on it, but until the standard is agreed to by all the players, adoption of online is still going to lag," he says.

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