VOD and TV are 'friends with benefits'

Tremor Video, IAB UK, Nielsen and Performics announce results of TV and VOD: Friends with Benefits. Study cites Aviva's astute use of TV and digital video advertising channels to drive brand awareness and message association.

Tremor Video, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK), Nielsen, and Performics announced the results of “TV and VOD: Friends with Benefits,” their joint research study as part of the IAB UK’s sold-out event entitled, Stretch that reach! Video on demand.

The study findings are based on 1.5 years of research into how UK viewers consume TV and video content plus a statistical analysis of five UK ad campaigns (TV and video) across a wide array of categories: fast-moving consumer goods, retail, beverage, tech, and finance. The results validate the team’s hypothesis that VOD ad campaigns are a cost-effective way to increase reach, brand awareness, and message association, especially when targeting affluent consumers and light TV viewers who are increasingly watching VOD content.

The study’s researchers have also concluded that advertisers and media agencies can maximise their ad budgets and keep brands top of mind by running TV and VOD ads simultaneously and also by continuing with VOD when TV ad campaigns have finished. (VOD, the ad term used in the UK, is synonymous with digital video advertising in the U.S.)

“This study confirms what we have known to be true — that VOD and TV are friends with benefits, working together to maximise advertising budgets,” said Doron Wesly, head of market strategy at New York-based Tremor Video. “TV advertising does a fantastic job of raising brand awareness. VOD advertising amplifies it further, and can extend the life of a campaign’s brand message well after the TV ads stop.”

Said Charlotte Ellis, media & advertising manager of Aviva: “Aviva strives for marketing innovation and devotes resources to emerging media channels, such as VOD, so that we can engage consumers where they are, on their terms. That is why we were pleased to see the results of the ‘TV and VOD: Friends With Benefits’ study, for they validate our strategy. We firmly believe that VOD serves as a perfect complement to our TV advertising, helping us extend our reach and brand awareness as more and more people choose to consume VOD content.”

Mauricio Leon, commercial director of Performics, ZenithOptimedia’s performance marketing arm, said the research confirmed some hunches and is also opening the door to wide-ranging conversations with brands about the power of this new ad channel.

“As an industry, we have often spoken about VOD in terms of incremental reach vs. TV, and these results prove that. But the most pleasing element of this project is how VOD can improve awareness and complement brand-building initiatives both during and after the TV campaign,” Leon said. “Using VOD to support a TV campaign and adopting a strategy of heavy VOD presence once the TV campaign has ended, means clients can maintain the reach and awareness levels generated by their TV campaign and get an extended audio-visual presence cost effectively. A key consideration for practically all advertisers who cannot be on TV 52 weeks of the year!’’

Research Findings: UK Insurer Aviva Benefits from Combination of TV and VOD Advertising

One aspect of the team’s research focused exclusively on Aviva’s use of TV and VOD. Here are the findings:

Brand Awareness and Message Association Increase with VOD

  • TV and VOD work together to increase unaided brand awareness and message association among light TV viewers, 56% of whom watch VOD content.
  • Aviva found that VOD is an effective channel for raising brand awareness and message association even after TV campaigns end. In effect, VOD helps maximise TV investment.

At the end of October 2012, the Aviva TV campaign ended and VOD advertising continued to run alone in November. Researchers found a significant difference in message association among those who were exposed to Aviva’s November VOD ads versus those who were not. Among those exposed to the VOD ads, 32% correctly associated Aviva with its messages, down from the high of 48% during the TV campaign but still higher than the pre-campaign level of 29%. Among those not exposed to the VOD ads, advertising “decay” set in and only 26% made the brand-message connection.

Digital Video Advertising: Cost-Effective, Too

Among light TV viewers, Aviva found that it was more cost-effective to increase unaided brand awareness and message association, per person, via TV and VOD than via TV alone.

Ad Industry Taking Notice

While the TV and VOD: Friends with Benefits study explains how VOD advertising helps brands, other reports are confirming the VOD industry’s growth. According to the “IAB UK PwC Digital Adspend Full Year 2012” study released last week, the UK’s digital video advertising market increased 46% from £109 million in 2011 to £160 million in 2012.

“Given the size and sustained growth of VOD, it’s important to understand how it works and how it complements TV campaigns,” said Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy for the IAB UK. “The ‘TV and VOD: Friends with Benefits’ study should help answer these questions and aid marketers in understanding how they can leverage both media.”