Are TV Ads Still Effective In The Digital Age?

With the world of digital advertising and online content providing means for intimate connections with consumers, and providing overwhelmingly more affordable avenues for promotion that traditional media, you’d be forgiven for assuming that television advertising just isn’t worth what it used to be – but surprisingly, TV advertising still has a hold on the Australian viewing public.

Aussies Love TV
The latest figures from the Australian Video Viewing Report show that Australian homes are averaging 6.6 screened devices for consuming video content includes broadcast TVs, tablets, smartphones, computers and internet-capable televisions. With an increasing variety and quantity of devices at home, all with wide variations of device-specific content, the figures show that Australian viewers now engage in viewing behavior know as  “cross-screen spreading’. This ‘spreading’ across digital media has indeed impacted on the amount of time people spend watching broadcast TV.

Despite this new viewing behaviour, broadcast television watched at home is still the primary way that Australians view their video content. According to the report, 82.6% of the population (over 19 million Australians) watches broadcast TV every week – averaging almost 2.5 hours per person, per day or roughly 75 hours every month – more than three times the approximately 22 hours per month spent watching online video on computers or handheld devices.

Whilst smartphone and tablet penetration has levelled off in Australia (around 84% and 50%, respectively), Associate Professor Rachel Kennedy of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Studies notes that “people will default to the biggest screen available at the time.”

Know Your Audience

And it shows in the viewing data. Even for millennials, television is still the dominant form of video content viewing, with over two-thirds of 18-24s regularly watching broadcast television – although, interestingly, this is where the scales have started to tip, and in the last quarter of 2017, the 18-24 demographic began to watch more video content on their devices than on a television – whilst still watching over 26 hours of television every month – however, they’re the demographic anomaly, with every other demographic’s television viewing habits exceeding their digital content viewing times by between 135% (40 hours of TV: 30 hours of devices) for the 25-34s to a massive 2500% (150 hours of TV: 6 hours of devices) in the 65+ demographic.

Effectively using broadcast television for advertising is truly dependent upon your target audience and ROI goals. Google are leaders in the world of digital advertising – and experts at effective advertising – an even they understand that TV has a efficiency that’s unique. If a brand needs to reach new audiences, or introduce new products to a wide demographic of tens of millions of customers, you need to use television. Digital can be targeted with razor precision, but no other medium can cast the wide net of television. Back at Ehrenberg-Bass, research from Professor Byron Sharp has dispelled the myth that growth comes from loyal customers, proving that for most brands, growth does not come from repeat customers but from attracting casual buyers, or entirely new customers, and to access untapped markets in this way, brands need the scale only TV can offer.

Cross-Device Synergy

Of course, if millennials are a prime part of your demographic - which they will increasingly become – you will want to look at harnessing the combined power of broadcast television and digital content to create a campaign based upon cross-device synergy.

Cross-device synergy is through-the-line campaign strategy, ensuring that a diverse channel mix will allow for greater cumulative reach. One of the benefits of cross-device synergy from a through-the-line campaign is that different mediums can have content tailored to the audiences that are most likely to consume the video content from that medium, and for audiences that use multiple channels, will provide enhanced repetition of messaging, allowing for greater brand retention in the audience.

DOTF has created a strategic content planning platform called GENOME which we use to analyse and plan content for brands through audience-led strategy based on the effectiveness of cross-device synergy. Our continuing work on Scooti’s through-the-line campaign combines a strong online video focus across socials for a millennial demographic, with media coverage across all major broadcast channels, bring the Scooti brand into the wider public consciousness prior to its official launch with targeted campaigns.  

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