World Television Day 2017 – is TV still the world’s most effective advertising medium?

As far as global ubiquity goes, television is hard to beat. While it may have be in the process of being usurped in sheer global reach by the internet, it is safe to say that you will find people staring at TV sets in all corners of the globe.

21 November is World Television Day, and has seen the release of a stream of figures showing TV’s continued strength as an advertising medium.

A new report from the newly formed Global TV Group, which brings together broadcasting trade bodies from Europe, North America, Australia and Latin America, has collected data from 19 countries. The figures show that the humble TV is still a guaranteed way to get eyeballs on marketing campaigns.

In terms of pure reach, the Global TV Group estimates that TV reaches around 70% of a country’s population a day, 90% in a week and almost 100% in a month. This near universal reach, when mixed with huge volume of time that the average user spends watching TV, gives the medium its power.

In Finland, for example, TV reaches 97% of the population within a given month, while an average TV campaign in Brazil will mean around 797 million views.

TV is, after all, still immensely popular, and still accounts for an average of 90% of user video time. This falls for the younger millennial audience to 73%, which shows that consumer habits are changing in the face of the internet.

Trust for TV as a medium is still high. In the UK, 58% list television as the source of advertising that is likely to create an emotional response.   

As an advertising platform, TV is still proving itself to be extremely effective. The average Australian TV campaign returns AU$1.70 for every dollar spent, while in Belgium TV generates three times as much brand recall as YouTube. Even brands that heavily rely on internet marketing such as Airbnb have seen a significant lift in website visits once their TV campaigns launched. In the UK, adding TV to a campaign increases its effectiveness by an average of 40%.

How is TV changing?

Abe Smith, president of EMEA&I, Cision:

“Audience viewing habits have changed dramatically in recent years, which has forced businesses to revaluate how they can get the most out of this popular and lucrative marketing channel. In the UK, £7.5 billion is spent by broadcasters and advertisers on the production and distribution of programme and commercial content each year, audiences still perceive earned media as the most authentic form of marketing. 

“However, as audiences opt to fast-forward past the adverts in pre-recorded content, or opt into streaming services like Netflix, which has done away with the traditional broadcast advertisement model, businesses are under greater pressure than ever to innovate as they get their messaging across to consumers. The good news is that consumers are hungry for quality content. To capitalise on that brands need to ensure they are collecting and using the quality audience data that will enable them to deliver messages that are both relevant and resonate. 

“In today’s saturated content landscape, brands need to be smarter and more creative, arming themselves with the audience data from earned channels to create content that goes beyond paid media to fully capture an audience’s imagination.”

Clive Malcher, SVP commercial, broadcast & media at Piksel:

 “In 2017, TV and the way we consume content has continued to evolve. TV is no longer something that we simply watch on a screen in our living rooms at set hours, it has been revolutionised by the emergence of online players like Netflix and Amazon, and by things like 4G making streaming on the go and faster content downloads. With more and more focus being placed on content creators and new platforms, television still remains the pinnacle of viewing, but more and more streaming services are coming into play, meaning that consumer focus is constantly shifting.

“Whether it’s for new content and platforms, or by constantly upgrading televisions with smart technology and the move to 4K, changes like this show that television is still holding its own in such a rapidly changing market.”

Josh Krichefski, CEO at MediaCom:

“TV remains one of the most powerful and engaging platforms out there, and still generates the highest return on investment of any media, outnumbering print, online video, radio and online display. Yet thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets which have exploded the advertising model online, the TV industry doesn’t quite have the monopoly on advertising it once did. This is in part due to the ever-evolving viewing habits of Generation Z, where those aged 4-15 watch 50 minutes less TV these days than they did in 2010.

“Clearly traditional TV now faces the double challenge of reaching out to younger audiences, while continuing to create content that appeals to older audiences as well. For advertisers, TV remains rich territory but as consumers increasingly watch content on-the-go and online, the world of television could look decidedly different in ten years’ time.”

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