TV and advertising: A match made in heaven

A quick-fire download with ThinkTV Head of Communications, Amanda Wisniewski, on the advantages and effectiveness of TV advertising, as well as the latest viewing trends of TV.

Amanda Wisniewski

So tell us a little bit about ThinkTV?

In a nutshell, ThinkTV is an organisation founded by TVNZ, MediaWorks and Sky in 2018. The networks share the role of Chair, which is currently held by Jodi O’Donnell, Commercial Director at TVNZ. The organisation promotes and highlights the effectiveness of television for advertisers using research studies, facts and data from independent sources.  

We work closely with the industry to ensure TV audience measurement is robust and transparent – earlier in the year we announced, in conjunction with Nielsen, the rollout of streaming meters, the first step to measure television audiences across multiple platforms, screens and devices. 

This year, despite what 2020 threw at us, we managed to commission and deliver a major piece of research with Ipsos showing that TV plays a significant role in driving search and sales. The intention was to present this at live events in Auckland and Wellington but due to Covid-19 uncertainty switched to a Virtual Webinar – the presentation and findings can be accessed here.

What are the advantages of TV advertising?

Essentially its effectiveness, and the ability to reach large numbers of people and new audiences. Rather than just talking to audiences that are already converted, with TV you can reach new customers, the best way to achieve brand fame and brand growth.

Watching TV is an experience that should not be compared to social video. Content on TV is professionally produced and regulated (think brand-safe) and when audiences are watching television, they are highly engaged and expect to see some advertising.

The Ipsos study reiterated what we already know and is reported by experts such as Peter Field, about TV’s strength in growing brand saliency and desire, and that TV advertising is far more memorable – also crucial for brand growth. Respondents interviewed in this study all said that TV advertising resonates more than other advertising, citing that good TV ads are entertaining, “part of the show”, and, typically more relevant and believable – their stories can be heard in the video of our webinar presentation.

The research with Ipsos also sought to challenge the perception that you need digital advertising to get people to go to your website. But you’ve got to be aware of something to go and search for it, and that’s where TV advertising comes in – the results showing that television advertising can drive people to search.

What about the effectiveness?

We sometimes hear mutterings that TV is expensive. Not so. We recently gathered CPMs from a few different ad agencies – this shows that TV – at a CPM of $11 is one of the most cost-effective mediums, and almost twice as cost-effective as YouTube.

The Benchmark Series showed how important attention is – active viewing of YouTube and Facebook was significantly lower than TV – so it’s a bit of a no-brainer that consumers are more likely to notice the TV ad, act on it, and remember the ad for far longer. In fact, TV advertising (Linear or BVOD) continues to impact sales for 109 days or 100 days longer than social video ads, so no matter when the time comes to purchase or act, the brand that potential customers “saw on TV” will be top of mind. 

One final point is the power of ‘co-viewing’ or shared viewing. Unlike social video, TV has the power to bring people together for a shared experience – meaning brands can increase share of voice and get in front of multiple generations without spending an extra cent – another way of getting more bang for your buck!

Can you talk us through the latest viewing trends of TV?

Consumers love television content as much as they ever have – they’re just consuming it in different ways. New Zealanders are increasingly viewing content on BVOD (Broadcaster Video on Demand), some 1.4 million people each week*. However, Linear (broadcast viewing) remains strong too, including with younger viewers. Nielsen (the official source of TV data) reports that Linear TV reaches 3.2 million New Zealanders every week. The weekly reach of All People 18-39 is 824,000 or 59%, while over half a million of this age group tune in every day** – this has hardly changed since 2018.

There seems to be a perception that less of us own a TV and we don’t watch live television. In fact, 96% of New Zealand homes have a television. New Zealanders spend two hours and 23 minutes of their day watching TV, and 90% of broadcast TV is viewed live**, which has remained the same for a couple of years.

Despite so many options today, we continue to see viewers of all ages turn to television for significant events, or, when we’re stuck at home! During our first nationwide lockdown, time spent viewing and daytime consumption was up, and we saw massive audience numbers for news and current affairs programming – ratings for 18-39’s for the News Hour were 27% higher than the same period last year***.  TV coverage of the national election on the night of Saturday 17 October reached more than 1.8 million viewers****.

And during the pandemic, television proved its importance as a source of information for New Zealanders and was highly trusted – as measured by a range of studies including the Ipsos Covid19 tracker in April 2020. A key finding in this showed that trust in TV News, across all age groups was double that of social media sources. 

What does the future look like?

2020 of course has been crazy, some plans have been a little bit disrupted, so there’s a bit to work through, but you can be sure there will be more research studies. Watch this space for more independent research on the effectiveness of premium video, likely across different categories. And hopefully the team will be out and about visiting customers and hosting one or two live events! We’ll get together late November to nail down some of those plans.

What about you? What spins your wheels about being at ThinkTV?

There’s plenty of variety, never a dull moment, always something changing. My key role is around communications and managing research projects. It’s somewhat challenging but a bit of fun watching and making sure that three fiercely competitive broadcasters play nicely together in the sandpit on ThinkTV projects – which they (mostly) do 😊.

Sources: *Nielsen CMI Jan-June 2020 **Nielsen TAM, Total TV, Jan-June 2020, All People 5+ or demo as specified ***Nielsen TAM Weeks 13-20 2020 versus Weeks 13-20 2019. ****Nielsen TAM 17/10/2020 – Election coverage TVNZ 1*, Three*

For more info and to sign up to regular news updates, visit ThinkTV.co.nz

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