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Offline advertising may be suffering right now, but that doesn’t mean that online brands can’t still profit from it. According to AdWeek, online entities like Zappos, Amazon and Kayak are working with traditional agencies — and advertising — to fatten up their profits. But the thing they still needs to get worked out is how to measure the effectiveness of cross-channel campaigns.

Trying to foster more brand awareness and utilize growing budgets, online companies are looking past search and display toward more traditional methods. Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen here, a unit of MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, tells AdWeek that television ads bring "people into the fold that aren't already participating in the category or, if they are already participating in the category, might not be considering your brand. It's much higher up the purchase funnel.”

Efforts on television can be extremely effective. Online video site Hulu, which has brought traditional network content online, saw a huge windfall from some well-placed television advertising this year. After a spot starring Alec Baldwin aired during the SuperBowl this year, Hulu saw its monthly unique visitors rise to over 9 million, a 104% increase.

Overall, ad budgets are still expected to decline this year and next. According to Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia, there will be 8.7% decline in U.S. media spending in 2009 and 1.7% drop next year, with only 1.1% growth in 2011.

In an economy that is increasingly moving online, those numbers are especially worrisome for traditional advertising. But traditional ads still have their strengths. A study conducted by Conde Nast this Spring found that television ads are still the most powerful branding opportunities available. Compared to that, a full-page 4-color magazine ad has 83% of the value of a 30-second television commercial, while a typical Internet banner ad has 16% of the value.

Unsurprisingly, companies are finding success through reaching audiences in different venues and areas. The more pressing concern is figuring out how to track those ads across different platforms. And brands are still having trouble with that part.

According to a study conducted by TNS Media Intelligence and sponsored by Eyeblaster last week, advertisers that do run cross-channel campaigns aren’t really tracking their performance.

Of those marketers surveyed, 67% said they have run cross-channel campaigns, but only 12% integrate information about how those campaigns perform across two or more channels.

Meghan Keane

Published 22 June, 2009 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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Comments (3)

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Paul Solomon

Hulu, unlike the other online brands, is directly geared toward the TV audience, because it is an online service that allows viewers to watch their favorite TV shows and movies anytime they like online, making scheduled family viewing hours obsolete. To many in the entertainment community, it seems odd that Alec Baldwin, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, is asking viewers to watch shows on the Internet, where as of now, actors aren't being adequately compensated. The recent SAG contract gives actors some residuals for shows that are shown for free on the Internet, but many actors, including former SAG president Ed Asner and Martin Sheen, feel that it isn't enough, and have been vocal about their disapproval of the contract as it now stands. Many feel that because of the bad economy, SAG is delaying the issue for two years, when the next contract comes up. Alec Baldwin is making more money from his commercial appearances for Hulu than he is from his appearances on his NBC comedy "30 Rock" that show up on the Internet. Some members of SAG are not happy about Baldwin's participation in Hulu's success. On the other hand, money from online Internet sites is finding its way to the mainstream media, and TV and print outlets can use the infusion of cash. The irony is that Hulu.com is spending advertising dollars on TV and at the same time exploiting actors on the Internet. At least Amazon.com and similar sites don't have this type of conflict of interest.

about 7 years ago

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Mukesh Dutta

I think it depends on the campaign idea. Not all offline campaigns will prove successful for online companies.

almost 4 years ago

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Mukesh Dutta

I think it depends on the campaign idea. Not all offline campaigns will prove successful for online companies.

almost 4 years ago

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