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Television is still the most effective advertising channel in driving traffic to websites, according to a new survey by Deloitte.

The sixth annual ‘State of the Media Democracy’ report, based on responses from 2,276 UK consumers aged between 14 and 75 years old, found that 64% of respondents had visited a website after seeing an advert on TV.

61% said they visited a website after seeing a magazine ad, 59% said a newspaper ad drove them online, while only 12% of respondents said a mobile app advert had prompted them to visit a brand's site.

A further 62% of respondents said they paid more attention to newspaper adverts than their online equivalents.

Deloitte said that online display advertising had actually lost ground year-on-year, in 2010 only 49% of respondents said they paid more attention to print than online.

The power of TV advertising is to be expected, as the survey also found that 98% of people chose TV services as their favourite type of media.

The data is supported by an Efficient Frontier report from last year, which showed that during an eight-week TV ad campaign searches will typically jump between 60% to 80% on a brand's name, and between 40% and 60% on generic terms related to the brand.

Traffic attributed to TV ads is also presumably driven by the rise of smartphones – though the survey doesn’t specifically question participants about method of access - since it's now much easier to visit a website while watching a show via your mobile.

Similarly, many ad campaigns are now designed specifically to hammer home the name of the website – GoCompare, CompareTheMarket and Groupons new 'Groupon dot com' campaign are some obvious examples.

But while the TV stats seem valid, the data relating to newspaper ads raises further questions.

Newspaper circulation figures have been declining for years, so it's surprising to see that newspaper ads only drive 5% less traffic than TV ads.

Print ads have undergone something of a revolution, with the introduction of QR codes and augmented reality apps. Though they're becoming more interactive, linking readers directly to webpages, it's often difficult for people to really remember where they really first saw a print campaign.

Creatives are repeated across billboards, newspapers, magazines and more - so pinpointing the exact trigger that sends someone online is a difficult thing to do.

David Moth

Published 19 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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