Online advertising delivers greater brand awareness than TV and at a fraction of the cost, according to Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and GfK research.

The study – the second in a three-part series into how FMCG advertisers can use online as an advertising medium – took Nestlé cooking brand Maggi as a case study to explore how online advertising compares with TV and social media.

Among the key findings was the uplift in brand awareness generated by online - 7.8%, compared with 4.1% generated by TV. However, when combined, both media generated a 17.1% uplift in brand awareness.

TV fared better in generating ad awareness, resulting in an 11.8% uplift, compared with the 5.8% generated by online advertising. Together, both TV and online produced an uplift of 18.7% in ad awareness.

According to IAB director of research and strategy Tim Elkington, online was more cost-effective in terms of both percentage uplift points and reach.

“What we saw was that the cost-per-uplift point was a third, and for reach, it was a quarter of the cost of TV,” said Elkington. “What this effectively means is that if what you get from TV is a £1, online can deliver it for £0.34,” he added.

The Maggi campaign, aimed at 25-45-year-old women with children, ran from the 21 February until 27 March this year. TV ads were shown across channels including ITV, ITV2, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Online activity comprised a mix of pre- and post-roll video display ads, complemented by more traditional display advertising – MPUs, leaderboards and skyscrapers – across lifestyle websites, as well as high-impact portal activity. There was also display advertising on social media platforms.

The IAB research team, using a GfK panel, studied the impact of TV and online advertising separately with controlled and exposed groups, as well as monitoring a group who had seen advertising on both media. Social media impact was modelled in the same way as TV.

Other findings include:

Online and TV achieved incremental reach across the audience

  • 25% of those who saw the campaign online did not see it on TV
  • All three channels (online, TV and social media display advertising) achieved exclusive reach, with TV at 28.3%, online at 13.4% and online social media advertising at 0.6%. The overlap of TV and online was 40.6%, but of all three it was just 4.6%.

Online, Online Social and TV performed different roles throughout the campaign

  • Online exposure delivered an uplift in both brand and ad awareness. It encouraged research into the brand – 3.2% of those exposed to the ads had searched for Maggi so Juicy online and 2% visited the website
  • Exposure to Online Social delivered uplifts in favourability and purchase intent, and also encouraged experimentation with new recipes using Maggi so Juicy – an uplift of 4.3% compared to the control group
  • TV was most effective at driving brand favourability and purchase intent on a mass scale, encouraging word-of-mouth and drove search within supermarkets.

The IAB’s last study, with Starbucks, indicated that online ads are better at building brands than press or outdoor. Its next study, due in October, will explore the effectiveness of TV, social media, online display advertising performance in repositioning Lucozade.


Published 27 July, 2011 by NMA Staff

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