TV outranks online ads in mix and pitch: report

Television is still the king of the marketing mix and online advertising is often ineffective, with more than 50percent of internet traffic driven to websites from TV, says industry researcher Red Sheriff.

While online advertising is still the primary source of website revenue its effectiveness is questionable with aphenomenon called 'banner blindness' hampering its impact amongst users; a user will zone out and ignore the areawhere the banner usually resides, the researcher says.

An integrated online and offline campaign is not the only solution, says Red sheriff in its first OnlineAdvertising Report: the Banner and Beyond. Instead marketers need to look at the strengths and weaknesses of eachmedium.

James Burge, research director Australasia for Red Sheriff, said consumer reach and advertising effectiveness canbe maximised through an integrated online and offline approach. "However, the research shows that there was littleconscious awareness or recall of integrated online and offline advertising campaigns amongst internet users," hesaid.

"Each communication has its strengths and should be employed to leverage these to meet brand and productcommunication objectives. Synergies arise from employing different mediums for their strengths and where possible[guiding] consumers between them," Burge said.

Consumers identified particular communication strengths with each medium and expect message consistency across themedia mix for a particular brand or product. TV is more likely to pull at the heartstrings, and generate anemotional response, while internet advertising's strength is its interactivity.

TV plays a dominant advertising role for most internet users, however the internet ranked a close second tonewspaper advertising in driving users to the websites.

However, the effectiveness of an online campaign can fall flat if the strengths of the medium are not employed.

According to the report, users most often recalled online advertising that was creative, included movement, had aninteractive quality and were positioned above the fold. Other elements that were present in recalled ads werewell-known brands, logo prominence, relevant brands or product messages and familiarity with offline campaigns.

Ineffective execution of one of these elements could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of a campaign, RedSheriff said.

Other key finding of the report showed two-thirds of internet users' primary exposure to advertising is through TVconsumption; 53 per cent of internet users had gone online to a website after seeing a television commercial andusers have a negative perception of pop-up or spam email advertising.

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