Toxic Behaviors in Advertising — and Your Business: What’s Your Threshold?

The pull that Social Media exerts on today’s world is unquestionable. It helps us stay connected, keep informed, and is generally a source for light entertainment. But we now know there’s a dark side which exists in social media that’s tearing the fabric of who we are — individually and collectively. It might only be 1% of the time or .001% — but it’s there and it’s undeniable. If you have a teenage daughter you know exactly what I’m talking about.

As a business owner or brand manager, you need to ask yourself this question: what is your tolerance threshold for toxic behavior? Until recently, marketers have been willing to overlook the downside of their social media associations. As social media has grown in use and popularity, over time it has become an increasingly substantial part of media plans, and the digital ad dollars have flowed into it like a river.

But that river now appears to be changing course. Fortune 500 companies are beginning to draw a line in the sand perhaps due to big business’ re-awakened sense of social responsibility, or the realization that they’ve been sunning themselves next to a cesspool. In either case, billion dollar advertisers are increasingly hitting the pause button on social media to deliver their brand message.

For brand managers, this move creates a significant messaging and marketing dilemma. No savvy marketer believes that simply cutting out a big chunk of their advertising is the right answer. Research and real world evidence proves that’s a recipe for erosion in brand awareness, customer loyalty, and ultimately revenue.

Digital v Traditional Media – the Pendulum Swings

When marketers jumped on the digital and social media bandwagon, in some cases it was at the expense of traditional media — broadcast radio and TV. But due to a new, heightened societal awareness, the tectonic plates of marketing are again shifting. Marketers are responding to public outcry and their media plans are in a state of flux. As advertisers re-evaluate the media mix in search of brand-safe alternatives, broadcast media is getting a fresh look. “Consumer safe content” and “brand safe” are today’s watchwords among CMOs. Unlike in social media, broadcast media is required by strict guidelines to regulate its content. For decades, AM/FM radio and broadcast TV have been regulated by the federal government. The FCC charter mandates that broadcasters serve the public interest. Steering clear of the “7 dirty words” is just part of it. “Brand Safety” — a pre-built feature in broadcast — is something that’s largely been taken for granted by both advertisers and the public. But it’s a compelling and fashionable value proposition in today’s hyper-sensitive ad messaging world. The pendulum is in motion once again.

When the Plan Changes: Mid-year Course Correction & How to Maintain Campaign Results

Advertisers downsizing or opting out of social media altogether are being forced to revise media plans and reconsider budget allocations. For many brands, maintaining a broad audience reach is critical. Nielsen studies repeatedly confirm that Reach is the most important media-related element to the success of an ad campaign. For all the talk of traditional media being put out to pasture, good old AM/FM radio and broadcast TV continue to deliver shockingly large audiences. The Nielsen ratings validate the audience reach and targetability. It’s an intriguing option for advertisers who just got thrown an anti-social curveball.

Your media plan just got punched in the gut, what are your options?

To help answer this important and topical question, the media experts at Nielsen turned to Nielsen Media Impact (NMI), a media planning tool designed to help marketers see what combination and proportions of media will yield optimal results. NMI is the nexus of the Nielsen ratings and a variety of media usage data sets. With it, users have the ability to run hypothetical media planning scenarios, mixing and matching different combinations of media. The system projects the combined, cross-media campaign results.

As a case study, the Nielsen data folks ran scenarios through NMI to see what happens when you pull $1M investment out of social media and split it between broadcast radio and TV. The results were eye opening:

Shifting from exclusively utilizing social media, to a radio/TV mix, has noteworthy implications: The reach footprint of the campaign almost doubles. Gross impressions nearly triple and CPMs are cut by 60%. All with the same $1M ad budget.

Looking under the NMI hood, you can additionally see from the graphic below how a progressive reallocation in 10% increments affects audience reach. It’s a helpful view to identify where the reach curve starts to flatten out, indicating a point of diminishing returns.

Bottom line: Socially conscious advertisers don’t have to sacrifice campaign performance when they draw the line, take a stand, and send a clear message. Pivoting your media plan and reallocating ad spend to the relative safety of broadcast radio and TV can actually improve performance. Go figure. Maybe playing it “safe” is not such a bad idea after all. Now, as November approaches and politics take center stage in the ad world, it will be interesting to see if the candidates and campaigns will take the high road and follow suit. Let’s hope.



In The Long and Short of It, Binet and Field famously posited that brands should aim for a 60:40 split between brand building and performance driving activities to effectively market themselves. For a long time marketers looked to gain the ideal equilibrium between the two to reach consumers effectively, and TV has always been the golden channel providing the best way to build a brand at scale, with other digital channels giving a home to performance marketing.

The Internet is fundamentally changing the way audiences interact with their TVs, and this in turn is providing new opportunities to the advertiser who can now apply digital metrics to TV. The promise of a platform that can deliver on both long and short term goals concurrently sounds like a dream come true, right?

However, the challenge for this still nascent platform is: how can we work together as an industry to effectively turn this promise into a reality.

Creating lean-in experiences for consumers

Being connected to the Internet, Smart TVs now offer advertisers the ability to lean-in and engage with a consumer through the use of tools like branded apps and micropages.

During MediaTel’s ‘The Future of TV Advertising Global’, I was speaking to Melanie Rupp from SEAT Germany and Annika Woerder about from PHD about the brand’s new CTV campaign. SEAT wanted to showcase interesting and engaging content about a new car to build brand equity, whilst giving consumers the opportunity to actively engage when watching TV, which was measured via targeted performance metrics. SEAT invested in a microsite rich with video content showing features of the car, whilst also giving viewers the opportunity to shop via a QR code leading them directly to a test-drive form.

The brand also created a smart TV app to give consumers the opportunity to find out more about the product whilst watching TV. The results so far has been a more sophisticated campaign that uses Samsung Smart TV data to extend the reach of traditional linear TV campaigns; showcasing CTVs versatility to be not just a TV but also a content hub, a browser and a place to discover more.

TV advertising goes beyond the 30 second spot

Our latest first-party Q2 data analysis shows that, for the first time, Samsung Smart TVs in the UK are showing more streaming content than linear TV – where linear TV is defined as TV consumed on a set channel at a set time of day – constituting over 55% of total TV viewership time.

Of that group, the majority are accessing subscription-based, ad-free services, creating a challenge for brands to reach large audiences with commercial messages via linear TV campaigns alone. It’s therefore important for brands to consider other methods to engage with TV audiences that complement, but also reach beyond, the traditional 30 sec ad spot.

Effective data is vital to give a sense of how the landscape is changing to help engage with audiences in new ways – ones that complement linear brand-building activities by engaging with the consumer more through data-driven targeting. For example, using a combination of deterministic data points we have access to at Samsung Ads, brands have the ability to understand which TV devices have been exposed to their linear TV ads, as well as those ads served within on-demand streaming services on devices connected to our TVs.

We can also understand the audience profile of those exposed audiences, such as when exposed audiences are more likely to watch TV, what other programmes and channels they watch, the types of connected devices they have attached to their Samsung Smart TV and more.

This enables advertisers to target those unexposed TVs using new ad formats, giving them incremental reach – providing the ability to reach those that would have been missed by a traditional linear campaign, whilst preventing duplication of reach.

Discussing how data helps define the wider TV strategy, Annika Woerder from PHD said, “The audience insights from Samsung…[allow us to] measure incremental reach… which is a helpful KPI to measure the success of a campaign….During our last campaign we reached about 73% incremental reach, which is a great number. Gaining insights from the Cupra campaign [means] we have the possibility to point out the users who visited our app [which] is a good way to optimise with data and…gives us the possibility to learn about what [our audience is] interested in and what they are doing, so this data is powerful.”

Making the most of CTV for effective brand performance

There’s still some way to go to perfect the balance between brand and performance. The key to this is developing data and measurement tools that helps us improve TV campaign planning iteratively.

Consumers always want good content at their convenience and advertisers can contribute to this by curating ad experiences that create a more active and engaged TV experience. This isn’t a matter of replacing traditional TV campaigns, but extending them, enabling brands to reach relevant audiences wherever they’re viewing their TV content.

Brand building is still the most important driver for growth, and with the increase in Internet usage over the past ten years it has given advertisers new ways to fulfill this job.

The digital revolution has made TV advertising more effective, not less. It’s an exciting opportunity to engage with viewers and tell the brand story in a different way, connecting both linear and CTV to improve overall brand campaign performance. There’s never been a better time to start testing and learning what CTV can do for a brand.



It’s the industry debate that simply won’t go away – the effectiveness of TV advertising. The digital camp protests that telly’s best days are behind it, while others (arguably headed by Professor Mark Ritson) argue there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet.

And a new report would appear to validate putting your marketing spend into TV.
The study was done by UK digital marketing platform Adzooma and interviewed 2000 participants on the value of TV advertising.

Some 56 per cent of respondents agreed they were more likely to buy something as a result of seeing a TV commercial over any other type of marketing, while 23 per cent consider a brand’s website as part of the purchasing appeal.

According to the Adzooma study, TV ads were in front of celebrity endorsements and online video adverts for effectiveness.
But brands also need to shout their green credentials too, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they take notice of a product’s environmental impact.
When it came to online ads, 26 per cent had bought a product after it featured on a sponsored social media post, while 18 per cent had committed to a purchase after seeing an outdoor poster campaign.

In better news, 65 per cent of respondents agreed that advertising helped them make a purchase and 20 per cent of those confessed they’re more likely to buy a product if they’ve seen an ad for it on multiple occasions.
Targeted ads are also an effective tool too. The research revealing that 61 per cent of people were grateful for being shown ads based on their online search habits.

When it came to FMCGs, some 43 per cent of respondents said it took them only seconds to decide on an item in the grocery aisle.
Apparently, there’s not much thinking going into online shopping decisions either. Some 63 per cent admitted to making an impulse purchase while surfing the internet.
And 62 per cent agreed they often shopped online simply because they were bored.

A third of respondents agreed they were now more likely to shop online than in-store, while 25 per cent said they still preferred the bricks and mortar experience.

And lockdown has been good for online shopping. The study found that the average Brit now spends an extra three hours a week browsing or shopping online.
Half of respondents admitted shopping online made them happy, two-fifths said it made them feel excited, while 16 per cent admitted to feeling guilty about buying stuff online.
A further 45 per cent said shopping made them feel good, 38 per cent said they liked trying new things and 60 per cent like to treat themselves. A further third said they would buy things to spoil other people, with nearly half agreed buying things put them in a good mood.

Commenting on the findings, Rob Wass, co-founder and CEO of Adzooma, said: “There are so many things which factor into what we buy, and it’s interesting to see how traditional advertising still plays such a big role, as well as the rise of online activity.

“We are still making a buying decision from things like social media ads and website advertising, and it just shows that this is a marketing tool which still needs to be perfected and optimised.

“Of course, price and quality will always play a key part in what we buy, but when torn between two equally great products, it can be as simple as seeing it in multiple places that makes you feel more inclined to buy something,” Wass said.



So far 2020 (not only in Australia) has brought uncertainty upon us. Bushfires, a pandemic, and then a recession. As marketers we do the best we can with the information we have available, making choices to deliver growth for our brands.

Now, more than ever before, marketing budgets are under pressure and the battle for market share is hard fought. But the more things change the more they stay the same. When you invest in TV you know exactly what you will get – mass reach, attention, memorability and sales.
When it comes to selecting video media platforms to deliver effective campaigns, there are 7 steps to certainty:

  1. TV reaches 85% of the population each week.
  2. BVOD consumption is booming.
  3. Australians trust TV, which haloes onto advertising.
  4. Ads shown on TV receive greater attention which is maintained for longer.
  5. Ads shown on TV are remembered for 9X longer.
  6. TV + BVOD has 2.4X the sales impact of TV combined with YouTube.
  7. TV is the King of ROI.

The second half of 2020 will be challenging. Every dollar of marketing investment should be working as hard as you are. Be certain in your media investment decisions. Be TV certain.

When you invest in TV you know exactly what you will get – mass reach, attention, memorability and sales. So, if you want to be certain in your media investment decisions – be TV certain.



European broadcasters are no longer playing catch up on first run video on demand content.

A new study by Ampere Analysis has found that broadcasters’ VOD audiences tend to be both younger and more affluent than those watching linear television. This has contributed to an increase in digital only commissions.

Ampere believes investment in online services is essential to ensure that commercially funded groups can offset the anticipated declines in broadcast revenue resulting from the ongoing transition to online viewing.
The problem for broadcasters is that their share of the advertising cake was in decline even before the coronavirus crisis. Ampere does not expect ad funded online video revenue to offset the systematic decline in linear advertising revenue in the near term.

“Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVoD) platforms were initially designed for TV catchup viewing, but in recent years broadcasters have been investing in technical enhancements and original content to beef up their services to attract a young demographic,” said Léa Cunat, Senior Analyst, Ampere Analysis. “We anticipate that the shift to digital marketing will be accelerated if the behaviours consumers have adopted during lockdown persist following the reopening of economies.”

Ampere points to BVoD users are generally younger and more affluent than those of linear television. It says that European services such as the ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery platform Joyn and France Télévisions, where 30% of its new shows are destined for VOD are leading the way.

The UK is listed by Ampere as Europe’s leading BVoD market, although the most popular service is BBC iPlayer which is ad-free. ITV Hub, All4 and My5 are the leading ad supported platforms in the local BVoD market with a heavy focus on catch-up, although Channel 4’s platform All4 continues to promote a deep catalogue of boxsets.



Just when it seemed 2020 couldn’t hold any more surprises, major brands hit pause on their Facebook advertising.

Facebook reportedly bore a loss of as a result of brands pulling their ad spend. However, those brands also forgo countless consumer connections while deciding how to repurpose temporarily stalled ad dollars.

Regardless, many believe the cost is worthwhile. With consumer scrutiny of brand messaging on the rise, the Facebook boycott is confirmation that brands must react decisively — or suffer the consequences.

Trust in brands and advertising has waned for years. Add a pandemic, a growing emphasis on social accountability and continued data privacy concerns to the mix, and the issue has only compounded.

Suddenly brands are center stage, and the world is waiting for their response. Choose that response wisely, and your brand might experience dramatic growth. Err, and the tide of public opinion may turn against you.
In such circumstances, thoughtful advertising can empower your brand to authentically reconnect with customers. But how? Rebuilding lost trust and restoring bruised reputations are not simple tasks.

The solution has two parts. The first involves what you tell your customers. Marketers agree transparency is essential. Consumers expect brands to demonstrate awareness and honesty. Know your limitations and be honest with your customers about what those limitations are. If you don’t, your customers may decide your limits themselves.

The second part of rebuilding consumer trust is equally vital. How is your message of transparency and accountability actually shared? Does the communication medium even matter?
Absolutely, yes. And our bet is on TV.

Traditional broadcast channels held up impressively over recent months, expanding their reach while consumers stayed home and switched on their TVs.

Both TV and radio consistently rank high for consumer trustworthiness in past years, with global trust levels recently reaching nearly 70%. Social media, on the other hand, has seen a frightening decline in perceived reliability. In fact, double the number of people say TV advertising creates a more positive impression than digital.

These results pose an interesting question: why is TV considered trustworthy, especially as opposed to digital channels?

TV requires a high level of accountability, and for good reason. TV advertising is high-profile. A national ad aired on prime-time television garners notice, either positive or negative. Reasonably, brands tend to avoid large-scale missteps as much as possible.

Admittedly, the costs of TV are higher than digital alternatives — but that also plays into why consumers are more willing to trust TV advertising. They recognize brands shouldn’t rationally invest in TV without being confident in their message. Therefore, customers can also enjoy confidence.
Plus, TV’s process may include approvals from the advertising agency, the brand itself, and the networks on which the ad airs, so there are multiple checkpoints at which the messaging is refined and substantiated.

On the other side of the spectrum, digital’s traditionally low cost and flexibility also come with downsides. Digital marketing is valuable, and omnichannel marketing is undeniably effective.

But for brands attempting to strengthen their reputation with a strategic advertising approach when consumer trust is lower than ever, now might be the perfect time to highlight TV within your advertising mix.



Fundamental mechanics of TV and video advertising

How video works

The Media Equivalence Study provides evidence of the power of video across all channels – especially when it comes to advertising recall indicators.
Video advertising has a stronger impact on television than on YouTube and Facebook.
Two consecutive contacts within a short time period double unaided advertising recall. This applies to TV, YouTube and Facebook.
Moreover, online video platforms benefit from the combination with TV. Two TV contacts have the highest impact across all indicators. Mixed contacts with TV have stronger impacts than two contacts on YouTube or Facebook.

How video is perceived

Advertising achieves the highest visual attention in lean-back mode. In lean-forward mode, users are less likely to pay attention to it and more frequently click or scroll away.
TV watching takes place in a relaxed atmosphere. Advertising is part of the TV experience. Content and advertising achieve similar levels of activation and emotion. This facilitates advertising effectiveness.
While using editorial content in leanforward mode, high levels of activation and emotionality are attained. With advertising, however, both these qualities fall off abruptly, which has an adverse effect on its processing. The level of activation also fluctuates strongly during content use.

How video is seen

The Deep Insights Study confirms the stable activation of viewers during TV usage.
Many people use TV as a motivator when dealing with tiresome obligations, to watch big TV events with excitement, and as a reward and a way to relax in lean-back mode after their work is done.
In these moods, those surveyed accepted TV advertising to a great extent. Advertising flows along with the program and is a learned and integral part of the TV experience.
YouTube users are looking for everyday help or emotional relief. They want to find a quick explanation of how something works (tutorials) or they want to briefly escape their current situation, for instance by watching a funny video. They are looking for a cognitive or emotional shortcut.
When viewers are taking a shortcut, advertising forces them to take a detour. In these usage states, YouTube users consider advertising to be disruptive. This reinforces the findings of the InHome Video Study, which showed an abrupt loss of activation as soon as advertising started.

How video sells

The experiment confirms the strong impact of video advertising. Both online video and TV have a considerable influence on recall. However, television has stronger branding effects.
Both media increase the sales of the advertised products. Yet, the impact of television advertising is many times higher. This particularly applies to the launch product which was seeking large and diverse audiences.
The findings underscore the strengths of mass marketing and point to the possible limits of targeting. Television advertising appeals to many potential buyers outside the core target group within a short period of time and therefore achieves greater sales effects.

See the link below for details.