In a time of restricted movement for most Americans, how has TV impacted advertisers’ ability to drive digital engagement? To find out, Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and TVSquared, a leader in TV attribution, released findings from an analysis of hundreds of U.S. brands. The study uncovers the short- and long-term implications of staying on-air, the impact of COVID-19 across ad categories and the effectiveness of pandemic-related creative changes, among many other insights.
The study, The Halo Effect: TV Drives Digital, evaluates the impact TV has on driving website traffic and engagement to connect with consumers during these times. Key COVID-19-related findings from the study include:
- The importance of staying on air: During times of crises, staying on air helps to maintain brand presence and triggers a “memory effect” among consumers. Among advertisers analyzed in Q1 2020, those that remained on air experienced a prolonged impact of +23% more website engagement in subsequent weeks. Those that went off air saw website visits drop by an average of -20%.
- COVID-19’s impact varied greatly by category: Looking at week-by-week trends between January to May 2020, the study identified how the pandemic impacted TV performance for different verticals. Brands with direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings had the highest rates of TV-attributed response, including e-commerce retail (+100%), online food delivery (+84%) and education (+41%). Categories that saw dips in website traffic were 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% versus pre-COVID levels.
- Creative changes performed, but consistency was key: Between March to April 2020, brands that ran COVID-19-related creative saw an average lift of +37%, while those that did not only saw +13% lift. Even though creative changes increased response in most cases, the tactic alone was not always enough. Maintaining an ongoing, well-rounded schedule was even more critical for success. Brands that ran consistent, week-by-week schedules of pandemic-focused ads saw, on average, a +41% increase in immediate visitors. Those that ran pandemic-focused ads but had inconsistent schedules actually saw a decrease in visitors of -21%.
“Since the pandemic has forced many consumers to move their shopping from physical stores to online channels, this study could not be more timely or valuable for marketers in terms of understanding the impact TV has on driving engagement,” said James Rooke, General Manager, Effectv. “The results clearly show that TV advertising drives consumer action online and also provide insights into how data-driven strategies can maximize engagement during this unprecedented time for marketers.”
“The study’s findings show just how critical it is for TV advertisers to be nimble and adaptive,” said Jo Kinsella, President, TVSquared. “Changing creatives to reflect what is happening in the world, and making data-backed adjustments to buys and schedules, are the two attributes that are consistent among the most successful advertisers – not only during times of crises, but always.”
“The Halo Effect: TV Drives Digital” includes more detailed insights on the topics shared above, as well as analysis on the effectiveness of audience-first scheduling strategies, the latest findings on viewership trends and detailed case studies by industry.
Click here to download the report.
TVSquared is the largest global enterprise platform for cross-screen, multi-touch attribution across all forms of linear and digital TV content. TVSquared’s always-on analytics platform empowers brands, agencies, networks and publishers to quantify TV’s impact, tie TV to business outcomes and optimize ad performance across TV everywhere. Thousands of advertisers in more than 70 countries work with TVSquared to measure TV across millions of households and billions of ad impressions. Learn more at www.tvsquared.com.
Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps local, regional and national advertisers use the best of digital with the power of TV to grow their business. It provides multi-screen marketing solutions to make advertising campaigns more effective and easier to execute. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Effectv has a presence in 66 markets with nearly 35 million owned and represented subscribers. For more information, visit www.effectv.com.