Corporate Eye

Shifting 15% of TV Ad Budget to Online Leads to Higher Reach and Brand Recall

calculationA new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Nielsen provides strong evidence that shifting television advertising dollars to online advertising drives positive results.

In “A Comprehensive Picture of Digital Video and TV Advertising: Viewing, Budget Share Shift and Effectiveness,” it is reported that a 15% shift in media spending away from television and toward online drives increases in brand recall, reach, and the effectiveness of that reach.

Furthermore, combining online advertising with television advertising drove even better results. Online video ads that run before television ads lead to a 33% increase in brand recall over television advertising alone. Online display ads that run before television ads drive a 25% increase in brand recall. In other words, timing your media buys so consumers see your messages online before they see them on television is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to increasing returns on your advertising investments.

Some of the key findings from the study include:

  • When 15% of ad spend is shifted to digital from television, consumer packaged goods brands (CPG) experienced a 3.4% increase in reach.
  • When 15% of ad spend is shifted to digital from television, non-CPG brands experienced a 6.2% increase in reach.
  • When 15% of ad spend is shifted to digital from television, brands experienced more reach at lower costs per point ($63.0K vs. $67.6K) and CPMs decreased ($12.31 vs. $13.82).

The report also reveals statistics specific to online video advertising that can help media buyers make the right choices for brand advertising. For example, ads shown during full-episode online video content generated a 39% higher brand recall than ads shown during full-episode programs on television. In fact, digital ads shown during both short-form video and full-episode video content drove higher brand recall, general recall, message recall, and ad likability than television ads.

And despite what you might think, ad receptivity is quite good no matter when an ad is played with online video content. Here are the overall findings related to online video ad receptivity:

  • The average streaming video viewer watches ads for 20 seconds. The average completion rate for these ads is 87%.
  • Mid-roll ads generate the highest completion rates (99% for short-form video and 89% for long-form/full-episode video).
  • Pre-roll ads generate the second highest completion rates (79% for short-form video and 81% for long-form/full-episode video).
  • Post-roll ads generate the lowest completion rates (71% for short-form video and 79% for long-form/full-episode video).

You can follow the link to view the complete report, which makes a compelling case for shifting up to 15% of your media buying budget from television to online, particularly online video, and for modifying the timing of your ad runs.

Image: Ayhan Yildiz

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.