Online Video Ads Beat Regular TV Ads

April 21, 2010

Video ads shown during full-episode online TV shows yield deeper brand impact than corresponding on-air TV ads, according to data from The Nielsen Company and Microsoft.

Consumers Prefer Online Video Ads by Wide Margin
The across-the-board superior performance of online video ads compared to traditional TV ads is significant. Online video ads have 65% general recall, compared to 46% general recall for TV ads. Online video ads also offer substantially higher levels of brand recall (50% compared to 28%), message recall (39% compared to 21%), and likeability (26% compared to 14%) than TV ads.


Nielsen data shows that web video viewers are more engaged and attentive to the programs they are watching, which is likely a function of the viewing environment and the oft-required active mouse-clicking to initiate and continue content. Online video is also still a relative novelty compared to traditional forms of media. Further, and most significantly, reduced ad clutter and the inability to easily skip ads are considerable recall-enhancing factors.

In addition, Nielsen analysis finds that online airings of existing TV ads have the highest viewer ratings of all. This may be due to the generally higher production value of TV ads, or to viewer preference for their absorptive, passive nature. In addition, viewers in the 13-to-34 age group had higher ratings than viewers in any other age group.


Dual Platform Exposure is Effective
Nielsen recommends that marketers use online and TV advertising in tandem, rather than separately or competitively. Among viewers exposed to the same TV ad on both the online and TV platforms as compared to viewers who saw ads on TV alone, substantial lift occurred in message recall (18%), brand recall (35%), message recall (53%) and likeability (31%).


Viewers Tolerant of Online TV Ads
In addition to having better ad recall ratings, online TV viewers will accept up to 75% more advertising per hour than is currently programmed, according to a recent survey by comScore. Online advertising’s “sweet spot” is between six and seven minutes per hour, 50-75% higher than the approximately four minutes per hour that is currently consumed by ads delivered online as part of TV content.

About the Data: Evaluating 238 brands encompassing 412 products in 951 ad executions in streaming full-episode TV programs, Nielsen IAG used the key brand impact metrics of ad recall, brand recall, message recall and likeability to determine the effectiveness of ads. More than 14,000 surveys were conducted.

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