ThinkTV’s Kim Portrate: “TV Commercials Remain (Advertising’s) Crown Jewel”

ThinkTV’s Kim Portrate: “TV Commercials Remain (Advertising’s) Crown Jewel”

Last week, B&T ran a controversial opinion piece by Wesley MacLaggan from Marin Software titled “Facebook Advertising Versus TV Commercials” that ruffled a few feathers among our readers. Here, ThinkTV’s CEO Kim Portrate (main photo) responds to the piece, making her case for why she believes the TVC still remains advertising’s “crown jewel”…

A guest post in B&T last week, asked the question: which platform reigns supreme in the land of video – Facebook or TV?

The good folk at B&T say this post received a very strong response from readers which made us think two things: 1. “good on ya Wesley MacLaggan” and 2.“there is clearly a hunger for more data on this topic”.

We do try not to think in such binary terms at ThinkTV because done well, TV and social media can work beautifully together to fulfil all the needs in your marketing funnel.

But we did feel we had a contribution to make – and some valuable data points – so we sat down to write a reply on the B&T thread addressing each of the points raised in Mr MacLaggan’s post. We had so much to say it turned into an opinion piece of our own.

So here it is, we hope it adds some meat to the bone…

Thanks Wesley,

We think TV commercials are still the crown jewels because TV still remains the fastest way to reach a mass audience and make your brand famous in a way that cannot be matched by any other medium.

We also believe that a good TV ad still entertains and emotes not least because it is surrounded by professionally produced content that is engaging for audiences. Findings by marketing scientist Professor Karen-Nelson in her Benchmark Series, commissioned by ThinkTV, show that TV ads that generate a strong emotional reaction – irrespective of whether it is positive or negative – attract 16 per cent more attention that ads which elicit weak reactions. That attention translates into sales: ads that generate a strong emotional response get a 30% greater sales impact than ads that generate a weak response.

When it comes to effectiveness, Ebiquity’s Payback Australia 2017 study, commissioned by ThinkTV, found that on average, $1 invested in TV pays back $4.13 in sales revenue across key advertisers from four of the economy’s biggest sectors – Finance, FMCG, Automotive and E-Commerce.

We completely agree that targeting is important, it’s one of the things social media can be very useful for, and with connected TV sets, BVOD and addressable advertising, different TV commercials can now be sent to different households and individuals too.

But we also argue that marketers should never lose sight of the mass power and reach of TV advertising. In the Advertising Effectiveness: The Long and Short of it, Les Binet & Peter Field showed that reaching a mass audience is the most effective strategy: targeting the whole market achieves double the profit effects achieved by focusing on existing customers.

Likewise, acclaimed marketing scientist Professor Byron Sharp has shown that brands need to target the whole market if they want to grow. ThinkTV will be commissioning work around this important topic, so watch this space.

The Benchmark Series also shows how important viewing length is to attention and sales impact – and we know from the findings that that very few advertisements on Facebook are watched beyond two seconds.

In fact, The Benchmark Series showed that across the roughly 18,000 executions tested, only 56 per cent of ads on Facebook were watched beyond two seconds and (it tested YouTube too because TV and Facebook aren’t the only video advertising game in town) only 78 per cent of ads on YouTube were watched beyond two seconds. For TV the result was 100 per cent.

When it comes to media measurement, all media channels are under the microscope, and rightly so. We hate to have to mention it but in 2016 and 2017 Facebook admitted to multiple reporting errors around its metrics and promised to do better. TV audiences have been independently audited and measured in Australia for 17 years. Just sayin’ Wes.

Finally, when it comes to optimisation, we’d argue that at the end of the day a much more important metric of marketing success is the actual sales impact of an ad. And here’s the rub: The Benchmark Series found that on mobile devices the sales impact of BVOD is 33 per cent higher than Facebook and 17.5 per cent higher than YouTube.

In fact, the sales impact of TV video advertising outperforms Facebook and YouTube irrespective of screen.

So, our take is that all three platforms can provide value for video advertisers but when it comes down to it, only one actually reigns supreme.

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