The Association of Commercial Television



TV companies around the world celebrate World Television Day on 21 November to remind us that TV makes a difference in people’s lives. As part of the annual United Nations initiative, a 30 second-spot will be broadcast on-air and shared online worldwide. The clip will be adapted and translated into many languages.

Putting the spotlight on society

For its 24th edition, World Television Day celebrates a truth that holds around the globe: TV makes a difference! Our medium has made and will continue to make a difference in society by putting the spotlight on racial and social injustice, hate speech, the pressing climate issues and the support TV has provided to people and businesses throughout the continuing COVID crisis.

“While circumstances kept us apart this year, TV has brought us together. TV is and always has been a social glue. As viewing rocketed, broadcasters the world over reacted to the unique circumstances nimbly and with great creativity to ensure that TV was there for us all as a source of trusted information, comforting distraction, and much-needed escapism,” asserts Lindsey Clay, President of the Global TV Group and CEO of Thinkbox.

“This pandemic demonstrates like never before the role of television to support society and democracy. Throughout these difficult months, TV is there to care. Care for the provision of editorially responsible trusted news. Care for the distribution of entertainment to bring light in times of darkness. Care for preserving variety and cultural diversity in the media landscape. All in all, TV is and will continue to be a true beacon of resistance against the Coronavirus”, proclaims Guillaume de Posch, President of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe.

“The past year, TV has continued to uphold its long tradition of addressing the critical issues in our global community. It brings our attention to social injustice, sheds a neutral light on society’s mishaps, helps relieve the strain of an unprecedented era giving us a hopeful outlook on the future. World TV Day is an opportunity for us all to pay tribute to the many professionals who make the magic happen both on screen and from behind the scene. We invite everyone to once again celebrate our medium around the world,” says Laurent Bliaut, President of egta and Deputy General Director, Marketing and R&D, TF1 Publicité

“At the time of COVID-19, Television has never been so present and important. Broadcasters have a dual responsibility to inform and to connect people by sharing positive and verified stories about building back better and greener. Thank you to the TV industry for making a difference,” says Caroline Petit, Deputy Director United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe (UNRIC).

For more information, please visit:

Press contacts:

Alain Beerens,
MarCom Manager, egta
Association of television and radio sales houses
T : +32 2 290 31 38

The Global TV Group is an informal grouping of broadcasters’ and sales houses’ trade bodies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America, whose joint objective is to promote television and remind advertisers, journalists, agencies and industry peers about the effectiveness and popularity of TV.

The European commercial broadcasting sector is a major success story. We entertain and inform hundreds of millions of EU citizens each day via thousands of channels available across Europe. The Association of Commercial Television in Europe represents the interests of 29 leading commercial broadcasters across Europe. The ACT member companies finance, produce, promote and distribute content and services benefiting millions of Europeans across all platforms. At ACT we believe that the healthy and sustainable commercial broadcasting sector has an important role to play in the European economy, society and culture.

ABOUT egta
egta is the association representing television and radio sales houses, either independent from the channel or in-house, that markets the advertising space of both private and public television and radio stations throughout Europe and beyond. egta fulfils different functions for its members in fields of activities as diversified as regulatory issues, audience measurement, sales methods, interactivity, cross-media, technical standards, new media, etc. During its more than 40 years’ existence, egta has become the reference centre for television and radio advertising in Europe. egta counts more than 150 members operating across 43 countries.

The Brussels-based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Europe – UNRIC – provides information on UN activities to 22 countries and is active on social media and websites in 13 languages. It acts as the European communication office of the United Nations and its aim is to engage and inform European citizens about global issues. It also liaises with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities, joint public information campaigns and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, the creative community, and local authorities.



During the first coronavirus lockdown, the consumption of television and online streaming content soared.

According to Ofcom’s Media Nations 2020 report, published in August, people in the UK spent 40% of their day on average watching TV and online video content during the month of April – a year-on-year rise of almost a third. The average UK adult reportedly spent 178 minutes per day, or close to three hours, watching live television during that period.

For advertisers putting out their message on these channels, there was an opportunity to reach and make an impression on a vastly increased audience. And while many companies were pulling back from spending any ad budget at all, some brands and agencies took advantage of the reduced rates available to them – and saw a strong response from TV campaigns.

It was a particularly golden opportunity for two scale-up digital brands, Farmdrop and Olio: one, an online grocer focused on sourcing sustainable, high-quality groceries; the other, an app that allows people to donate and receive unwanted food and other items. I spoke to Josh Clarricoats, Managing Partner at advertising agency Hell Yeah, which created two direct response TV ads for the two brands, about why TV can be an effective advertising channel for digital-based services and how it can work hand-in-hand with digital advertising activity like online video and display ads.

Digital brands and direct response TV ads

“Hell Yeah works with a lot of startup and scaleup brands,” Clarricoats says. “They’ve usually taken a couple of rounds of funding, and they may have run some internal digital campaigns – paid social, programmatic displays ads – but they haven’t really explored the realms of ‘proper’ creativity and strategy.

“Farmdrop and Olio were both interested in exploring TV to see if it would work for them – they’d very much utilised digital channels up to that point. And after the initial months of lockdown, as things started to open back up a bit, there were some very beneficial TV rates on offer for brands because so many businesses had cut all TV advertising, which made the rates super cheap – they were roughly half the price they’d been before. At the same time, a lot more people were watching TV.

“Although both brands very much wanted to drive people to the website to sign up and become customers, and you want to have a really strong call-to-action that will achieve that, most TV ads – particularly direct response TV ads – have the job of building the brand as well, particularly if it’s a brand that’s never been on TV,” explains Clarricoats.

“People usually aren’t going to go straight to the website and do a food shop, or download an app – but if you get that messaging across, then maybe a week later, they’ll think to sign up and give the service a go. You need to invest in the creativity so that it’s memorable.”

This is the beauty of television compared to other forms of advertising, according to Clarricoats: it is very effective at eliciting an emotional response. Thinkbox and Ipsos Connect’s 2016 ‘TV Nation’ report found that 58% of people believe that TV advertising “Makes you feel emotional”, while 64% said it “Sticks in the memory”. For this reason, it can be a useful tool for smaller brands that want to make an impact, particularly when used in concert with a well-planned digital campaign.

“We don’t just specialise in television, but I think it’s a really good platform for digital-based services to test,” says Clarricoats. “You can target a lot of people – a lot of people still watch television, which I think people forget – and it’s a good way to supplement your digital activity and create a full-reaching campaign that people will see both online and on TV.

“It’s also a lot more cost-effective than people realise. A lot of scale-up brands believe that TV must cost an arm and a leg, but worldwide, the UK has some of the cheapest TV advertising rates.”

Cutting through the silence during lockdown

For both FarmDrop and Olio, Hell Yeah worked to create ads that would elicit an emotional response from people, while also being versatile enough to be used across different channels – giving multiple pieces of creative for the price of one.

“With FarmDrop, we tried to make a very memorable TV ad that also built the brand. It was very much a TV-first campaign, but they also used cuts of the ad on YouTube and as digital display ads. The response has been amazing – for a 30-second paid ad on YouTube, 27% of people were watching it through to the end.

“I think this shows how a good strong idea can transfer to social as well – as long as that’s within your mind when you’re making the creative for it.”
The 30-second Farmdrop YouTube ad, which aimed at capturing how ordering food through the app made people feel. More than a quarter (27%) of people who viewed the ad watched it to the end.

Overall, Farmdrop’s television ad campaign drove 30,000 website sessions attributed to TV, with more than 2,000 attributed incremental sales, according to data from measurement platform TVSquared. Year-on-year web traffic for August, when the ad aired, was up 122%, and Farmdrop also saw a 66% month-on-month increase in branded search.

For Olio, Hell Yeah set out to create a “hard-working” direct response TV ad that would get the most out of the “shoestring budget” that the brand was working with. “They wanted to create a hard-working animation that would encourage people to download the app and reconsider throwing things away,” says Clarricoats.

“Again, it transferred very well to digital channels, and they can now use it for any kind of moving image or audio assets.”

Did both brands make a deliberate decision to advertise during a time when many businesses were drastically slashing their ad budgets and pulling back from advertising – allowing those who did invest in marketing and advertising to take a bigger share of voice? During the lockdown, Clarricoats recalls, businesses pulled back from advertising for two reasons: some were struggling and didn’t have a product they could feasibly market, but other businesses that were doing unexpectedly well during Covid-19 “fell into the trap” of thinking they didn’t need to advertise, because they were already seeing a huge uplift.

“Farmdrop, to a degree, did that – they initially switched off all their digital channels, because people were coming to them anyway – but then they realised they were still missing out on vast swathes of customers who might not have heard of them. That’s when they decided to switch advertising back on and run a campaign across digital, TV and out of home – to keep that brand awareness up.”

Clarricoats anticipates that the trend of using digital services and apps – particularly for grocery shopping – will continue long-term. “That whole mindset and the way that people do their shopping has completely changed, and that’s not going to drop down any time soon. In general, people are a lot more receptive to using digital and delivery services than they were before.”

Making TV and digital work together

Different advertising channels have different strengths, and though television is effective at delivering an emotional impact, it can be difficult to attribute, especially when compared to the precision of tracking clicks on digital. “With digital, you can see that someone’s clicked, and that they’ve bought something. With TV, it’s a bit more guesswork.”

Thanks to dual-screening habits, there is a percentage of consumers – Clarricoats estimates around a third – who will act on an advertising message directly if it piques their interest. But for the majority of consumers, the effectiveness of a campaign relies on its memorability. This is where digital advertising can come in.

“We’re not an agency that says, ‘you should just do TV’,” says Clarricoats. “[A television ad spot] does need to be supplemented with good, captivating digital content that matches up to the TV campaign, so that it all works together as one creative suite of assets to drive that memorability.” Digital is still a very cost-effective method for driving customers to a website, he adds. By taking an “all-encompassing” approach to ad strategy, brands – especially growing scaleup brands – can get the most out of what may be a relatively small media budget.

Another key thing to remember for disruptive brands that want to make an impact with their advertising is that it isn’t enough to claim you’re a challenger brand, says Clarricoats – your ad creativity and ideas need to reflect that disruptiveness. “You need to come up with ideas that are going to break through the noise, perhaps get more organic coverage – think about what’s going to get people to sit up and take notice.

“TV ad spots can be quite similar to one another; we encourage our clients to think of something that’s not sterile, and gets people to notice what you’re doing. You need to explore what’s important to consumers and connects with them on an emotional level, rather than just pushing a product.”



As the screen-watching landscape continues to change and viewing habits switch, can television – and therefore television advertising – hold its own? The Moon Unit examine the future of ‘the hearth of the 20th century’.

Television is finally on its way out, and television advertising along with it. Or so they say.

Truth is, that has been said for a while now. The speculation started with the invention of time-shifted, on deme television back when Big Brother was still popular, and has been reignited in the last few years with increasing digital ad-spend and viewers shifting to streaming services. Still, like petrol cars or the Queen, the trusty old TVC just won’t seem to die.

“Like petrol cars or the Queen, the trusty old TVC just won’t seem to die.”

At this point it might be safer to assume that television advertising is immortal and, instead, ask; what, if anything, might its future look like? If television advertising were a human, it would probably be taking heart pills and transitioning to a diet of soft foods. This is at least the opinion of many who work in advertising. Endless is the list of opinion pieces about how the death of traditional advertising is nigh, an unsurprising view from an industry with a supposed ageism problem.

But the critics do have a point?

Digital ad-spend surpassed that of television in 2016, and that’s almost certainly not going to change back. Watching video on subscription-based platforms that don’t cater to advertising has become the norm for an increasing number of people. Brands even seem to prefer the transition to digital too, as they get far more data on where their money is going, with tools like impression metrics. All in all, it’s a tough time for television advertising. And yet, against all logic, television ad revenue is still growing. How can that be? To answer that, first let’s take a look at the numbers.

People watch more television than you’d think. A lot more. In the first quarter of 2019, US adults spent 39% of their daily media consumption on live and time-shifted television, compared to 38% on computer, smartphone, and tablet use combined. This is, of course, generational: in the 18-34 bracket those numbers are 21% and 51% respectively; in the 65+ group 57% and 26%.

Above: Share of daily time spent by platform, via Nielson.

Old people watch more TV than young people. Unsurprising. But that the average American still watches more traditional TV than phone, tablet, and computer usage combined? Well, that might surprise your usual type of young marketing professional, the type who probably hasn’t seen a television outside of a dentist waiting room since childhood, and therefore has shocking misconceptions of how the statistically average person consumes media.

The numbers get more extreme if we look at it sampled by video engagement. The average US adult spends four hours and 27 minutes watching television per day. Fifty-four minutes is spent on TV-connected devices (this includes streaming), and 25 minutes watching video on other devices collectively.

“You’ve got about as much chance selling incontinence nightwear on a Twitch stream as you do selling a VPN during midday M*A*S*H* reruns.”

That means that the average US adult is exposed to roughly 72 minutes of television advertising per day. So, perhaps the cord cutting apocalypse isn’t quite as close as we’ve been led to believe. No surprise then that TV is still the leading channel for self-reported advertising engagement – a metric that could hold more truth than its digitally reported twin.

Above: Average time spent per adult, 18+, per day on video, via Nielson.

But the numbers only tell one part of the story. In truth, the whole ‘television advertising is dying because more money is being spent on digital’ rhetoric was, likely, totally off to begin with. Did radio die because of television? No – they both have steady niches in the market. In the same way, television and digital are incomparable. So, let’s give it a go.

“Digital does the job of those “call in the next 10 minute” infomercials better than their creators ever could have imagined.”

The most obvious difference between the two is demographic: who is being sold to? You’ve got about as much chance selling incontinence nightwear on a Twitch stream as you do selling a VPN during midday M*A*S*H* reruns. Yes, there’s overlap. There’s teenage television and, well, Facebook, but the deciding factor in choosing between a TVC or digital campaign will be target audience.

More interesting, however, are the different roles that TV and digital play in terms of how their advertising functions. Television advertising is more about brand building than anything. A Budweiser spot isn’t placed in the middle of Sunday Night Football because they want you to leave your living room and head straight down to pick up a six-pack. It’s put there because the next time you’re staring blankly at the shelves deciding what six-pack to buy, you’ll choose the beer of the brand that showed you a funny ad while you were having a good time watching sport, rather than the dozens of others.

Above: TV is still the top medium for ads in the US, via Statista.

Digital advertising, on the other hand, acts more often as a sales funnel. That’s not to say it doesn’t also function as brand building, but that’s usually not the primary purpose. Digital does the job of those “call in the next 10 minute” infomercials better than their creators ever could have imagined. There’s a call to action, and just a few clicks away you can buy a product that will arrive at your door the next day. Perhaps your credit card information is even saved in your browser already.

“The ‘skip this ad’ button is responsible for the night terrors of digital marketers.”

That is, if your attention is grabbed in the first five seconds. Clicked with more determination than ‘refresh’ on the Glastonbury ticketing page, the ‘skip this ad’ button is both responsible for the night terrors of digital marketers, and a symbol of the inherent difference between TV and digital advertising.

It’s psychologically a very different thing to click a skip button – or to even mute an ad and switch tabs to the million other things at your fingertips – than it is to get up and walk out of a room during an ad break. If a TVC is at least mildly entertaining it’s a lot easier to sit through and wait for your show to resume than it is on the internet, where we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want without delay.

Many people on both ends of the advertising production chain don’t understand this and just assume that you can put something that was made for TV as a YouTube pre-roll and expect the same results, or vice-versa. This is how cost-cutting effectively becomes a wasted ad budget.

All this without even mentioning ad blockers, the Iron Dome of anti-digital advertising systems. But, to examine the full near-future impact of ad blockers would require its own article. An internet savvy person likely forgets that pre-rolls and sidebar ads even exist. That presents a real problem for marketers, who sometimes end up resorting to less ethical means of advertising to get their messages across.

Clearly the television vs. digital debate is an apples and oranges kind of situation. But if television – and television advertising along with it – is here to stay, what does its future hold?

The most likely scenario is something similar to radio. Viewership slowly but steadily decreases until it flat lines at some point, where it’s kept alive by virtue of having a particular niche. This process would likely happen over the course of a few generations, as the people for whom television was a household staple are outlived by those who grew up with streaming or whatever comes next.

“Television fills a particular need that we have to have things chosen or curated for us.”

Or perhaps everything goes full circle and the streaming giants are pressured by companies to include advertising (or just want to make more money) and the video streaming landscape of the next decade begins to look like on-demand TV does now. What is certain at this point is that television fills a particular need that we have to have things chosen or curated for us.

How often do you sit in front of your streaming service of choice, scrolling endlessly to find something before ending up back at the top picking the thing you thought about watching first? How long does that process take you? For the average person, according to the same Nielson report referenced above, it’s about 7.4 minutes.

“It’s one of the reasons people still listen to radio – too much choice is daunting.”

Television doesn’t have that problem. It’s one of the reasons people still listen to radio – too much choice is daunting, and when you want to switch off after a long day, having somebody choose for you is relaxing. The endless stream of stuff can be a comfort, and for some people even substitute as company, in a way that anything attempting to replace it couldn’t achieve. The TV was, after all, the hearth of the 20th century; a gentle log fire with ad breaks.

So, no, television is not about to die. It’s going to gradually decline in popularity and maybe even experience some ironic-until-serious resurgence, like vinyl. Anybody telling you otherwise is either severely misinformed or trying to push their digitally based product. Always check the footer. At The Moon Unit, we write and design the world’s best TVC treatments – but before you call us out on that, we do the same for film and streaming content. Our work has shown us that this isn’t a zero sum game – there’s room for all of these media to exist in harmony, and the growing popularity of one does not come at the expense of the rest.



A lockdown fuelled television boom has brought an unprecedented boost to TV ad exposure according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The regulators figures – sourced from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) – reflect the rapid evolution of advertising and advertisers to respond to our needs and wants in an era of public health messaging.

Traditional TV’s Covid-19 bump

• Focused solely on broadcast TV (excluding subscription video-on-demand services) the ASA analysis took place for the first seven weeks of lockdown between 16 March and 3 May.

• Comparing this window with the same period a year earlier, it was found television viewing had jumped against the previous year (+20.1%) and before lockdown (+12%).

• Children aged 10-15 were the group watched more TV than any other populations segment.

• In the final weeks of lockdown, viewing levels increased substantially with adults clocking up screen time; children’s viewing rose above the 2019 baseline.

Exposure to ads on the up

• Increased consumption has naturally translated into greater exposure to adverts, which rose 15.6% over the period despite adult viewing patterns remaining broadly consistent with pre-lockdown norms.

• Heightened viewing brought a significant fall in exposure to adverts relating to sectors most affected by Covid-19, with cinema adverts collapsing from 5.9 ads to 1.5 ads per adult and from 4 to 0.8 ads per child.

• Bars and restaurants also bore the brunt of containment measures with ads in the sector seen by adults slumping from 7.8 to 2.2 and 2.5 to 0.7 for children.

• Travel brands also saw their reach dissipate with adults seeing just 1.3 ads versus 18.7 ads in happier times. The equivalent figures for children stood at 4.9 and 0.3 ads respectively.

• Predictably, exposure to government-sponsored social and health campaigns surged in their wake, rising from 8.5 to 25.2 ads per adult and 2.1 to 5.6 ads per child.

• Supermarkets also held their own with a spate of food-related brand building contributing to a rise from 5.9 ads to 23.7 ads per adult in the sector. This was reflected in the equivalent numbers for children, where exposure rose from 1.2 to 6.4 ads.

• Other trends identified in the analysis show increased exposure to health and care products such as hair, oral hygiene and household cleaning supplies.



A new report has found that most viewers believe their perception of what TV is has shifted over the past five years amid the march of digital, but ads from broadcasters are still more trusted than their streaming equivalents.

Thinking Inside the Box was commissioned by addressable TV finder Finecast, in collaboration with research specialists DRG, to better understand consumer and industry understanding of TV viewing habits and addressable advertising.

Finecast recently worked alongside Dipsticks Research Group to explore the medium of TV in the world today.

The research project entitled ‘Thinking Outside the Box’ seeks to understand what TV means to viewers, how they consume it, and how they respond to to the content delivered within the TV environment.

Outlined below are some of the key findings from the report.

Perceptions of TV are changing

• The report established that 60% of viewers feel their perception of what TV is has shifted over the last five years.

• Some habits die hard, however, and 85% are confident they will always have a TV in the house.

• A further 74% classify broadcast video on demand (BVOD) as TV, while 53% include streaming video on demand (SVOD) and 9% even include YouTube in the broadest of definitions.

What mediums do viewers trust most?

• TV, especially BVOD, remains the gold standard for high quality viewing for 74% – with online video respected as high-quality content by just 57%.

• These figures closely correlate to trust with 75 and 57% respectively willing to put their faith in what they see on BVOD and online materiál.

• Among all media channels, 59% of those open to advertising trusted TV the mot, way ahead of other channels such as Press (11%), Cinema (9%), OOH (9%) Radio (6%) and Online (6%).

• However fully 50% of respondents told Finecast that they did not trust any of these channels.

• A third of those quizzed said they would be more likely to give their time to an advert if it was relevant to them, highlighting the potential power of targetted addressable advertising to reach specific audiences.

• Addressable advertising is cited as a potential TV entry point for brands by enabling highly focussed investment targetting particular audiences and locations.

• Phoebe Casey-Miller, research manager at DRG, commented: “These changes mean exciting new opportunities to reach consumers in different states of need, viewing contexts and across different devices and platforms. However, execution is key.

• “Viewers want relevancy, creativity and TV ads that they genuinely enjoy watching rather than find annoying and intrusive,” states Casey-Miller. “There is a clear line between using data-driven advertising solutions to create relevancy and engagement amongst viewers vs making them feel as if they’ve lost all sense of control with creepy targeting.”

• Casey-Miller concludes: “Viewers might not be clear on ‘What TV is?’ but from having the opportunity to enter their homes and observe their viewing experiences, TV continues to play an important and evolving role in the lives of consumers in 2020.”



• Major new study reveals that media channels differ widely in their ability to communicate vital brand signals
• TV consistently delivered the strongest signals across all categories and audiences
• Social media and video sharing sites performed significantly below average
• Advertising on TV will deliver double the perceived level of quality & popularity than advertising on social media

A new study released today finds that TV is the medium most likely to help brands appear high quality, successful and popular in the eyes of consumers.
‘Signalling Success’ was conducted by research agency house51, commissioned by Thinkbox. Its findings are based on a quantitative study of 3,600 people in the UK.

The study is the first-known UK research dedicated to the behavioural science principle of ‘signalling’, which has been widely discussed by academics and behavioural scientists, including Rory Sutherland. The theory suggests that the perceived cost and scale of an advertising campaign translates to improved brand attributes.

The research methodology took the form of an experimental design, inspired by US academic research from Duke and Stanford universities. Each respondent was presented with a description of a fictionalised brand in one of four product categories alongside a brief outline of its launch advertising campaign. The respondent was then asked to answer a series of perception statements in relation to this brand, based solely on its description and proposed launch campaign.

In each case, all information was identical except for the medium being used in the campaign. This allowed house51 to isolate the ‘signalling effect’ of the media channel used, as all other variables were identical for each respondent.

house51 split the perception statements into three groups based on the type of signal communicated.

• ‘Fitness’ signals cover the perceived brand quality, financial strength of the company and the company’s confidence in their brand.
• ‘Social’ signals cover the brand’s perceived fame, popularity and success.
• Trust covers the perceived degree to which the brand will deliver against the promises it makes within its advertising.

Key findings from ‘Signalling Success’

When participants were told that the ad campaign would run on TV, their perception scores for ‘fitness’ signals were significantly higher than average.

• 50% of respondents rated brands that advertised on TV as financially strong. The next best performing advertising channels at signalling financial strength were newspapers, magazines and radio, all at 32%.
• Brands advertising on video sharing sites and social media consistently scored below average in ‘fitness’ signals. Only 19% perceived brands advertising on social media as ‘high quality’. This compared with video sharing sites at 22% and the top performing medium, TV, at 43%.

TV advertising helps brands to be perceived as more popular and successful.

• 43% rated brands advertising on TV as being successful, slightly ahead of magazines at 41%. Social media and video sharing sites are least likely to signal brand success at 32% and 31% respectively.
• TV, magazine and press advertising all help signal brand popularity. 50% of respondents rated TV advertising as demonstrating that lots of people were buying the brand, compared with 24% for social media and 29% for video sharing sites.

Brands advertising on TV, magazines and radio are perceived as most trusted to deliver on promises made.

• 30% rated brands advertising on TV as trusted to deliver on promises made, making TV the most trustworthy medium, just ahead of magazines (29%) and radio (28%).
• Advertising on video sharing sites was least likely to deliver brand trust at 19%.

The perception scores varied across brand categories and age groups, but TV consistently delivered the most powerful signals.

• TV drives the strongest ‘fitness’ and ‘social’ signals for online retail, FMCG, mobile phone networks and home insurance.
• Social media and video sharing sites were the advertising channels least likely to drive ‘social’ or ‘fitness’ signals in any of the categories tested.
• Younger audiences had a more positive perception of social media and video sharing sites at driving ‘social’ signals than older age groups. 32% of 16-34 year olds rated brands advertising on social media as popular, versus 23% for 35-54 year olds, and 18% for 55+. For all these audiences, TV signalled the highest brand popularity at 57% (16-34), 52% (35-54) and 42% (55+).

Results overview

Implications for advertisers

These findings show that the medium is indeed the message. Advertisers need to factor in the relative ability of channels to deliver on these crucial signals, which have such a significant effect on brand perception and message communication.

Newer brands, with low levels of awareness, in particular need to pay attention to this study. They are yet to form their own reputation, and so need to borrow their brand credentials from the advertising environment.

Matt Hill, Research & Planning Director at Thinkbox:

“The ‘as seen on TV’ effect is a widely used phrase to describe the ability of TV to deliver positive brand signals; if you’re advertising on TV, then you must be a high quality, widely used and trustworthy brand. This simple, but powerful study from house 51 finally provides concrete evidence of the superior signalling ability of TV and offers a huge amount of depth to our understanding of how signalling works across different media channels, categories and audiences.”

Catherine Heaney, Co-founder and partner, house51:

“This has been a fascinating project to work on and we are delighted that our research has reinforced and expanded the literature on advertising signalling. The power is in the scale and subtlety of our design. Across 24 controlled experiments and 3,600 interviews we only varied the proposed media channel. This allowed us to prove that ‘as seen on TV’ provides stronger signals of brand fitness, quality and trust and that the effect is consistent across product categories and audience demographics.”

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK and author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense:

“Evolutionary biologists have known this for years. But this is further proof that there is a hidden trade-off between efficiency and effectiveness. The perceived size of audience and the perceived cost of signalling significantly add to the signaller’s power to convince.”



It is advisable to retain communication activity, especially in a recession, as it is important for a brand’s market share. This is a message conveyed to marketers by Mark Ritson.

Nobody is able to predict now when the current recession relating to the Covid-19 pandemic will come to an end. The situation will calm down with vaccination, which is likely to be available “later than we assume”. Recession thus does not have to end in the following year, said the marketing expert Mark Ritson in a webinar organised by the European trade association of TV & radio sales houses (EGTA) and provided by the Association of Commercial Television (AKTV) in the Czech Republic.

At the moment, communication activity is impacted by different positions of individual advertisers. They include three major groups: advertisers who put a freeze on their marketing activities (such as airlines); firms that had to respond and adapt their strategies to the current situation (gastronomy); and companies generating profit from the pandemic and becoming stronger (e-commerce).

Despite deteriorated conditions, Ritson recommends continuing marketing communication, predominantly in a recession. He considers the excess share of voice (ESOV) to be the key indicator representing the difference between the share of voice and the share of market. If advertisers do not stop their communication, they may increase their market share. “If other brands in the category reduce investments by 50% and our brand keeps the investment it has a positive effect on growth in our market share,” described Ritson. Using an illustrative example, he showed that if the existing investments are retained and other brands’ investments are reduced by half, the increase in the market share is ten percentage points.

The growing time spent by users with the media is specific to the Covid-19 pandemic. In some situations, you can benefit from a more favourable price for ad placement. “There is a great opportunity for brand building,” said Ritson. He is aware that the recommendation is easy to give but more difficult to implement. Data on positive effects of communication activities in a recession is, in his opinion, demonstrable and may be supported by examples of major economic recessions in the past century.

An example of ESOV growth during recession. 

Ritson believes that TV should always be included in the media mix because TV screens account for the largest portion of the total daily time spent watching video. According to the UK research data provided by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) for 2019, the linear TV (live TV) has approximately a fifty-percent share in the total time dedicated to watching video. TV’s position is even stronger in terms of ad videos seen, with its share exceeding 80%. TV in combination with other channels, mainly online video (and specifically YouTube) is also supposed to be effective.

A similar recommendation for active communication even in a recession was given by Peter Field, another marketing expert in communication effectiveness who delivered his speech in EGTA’s and AKTV’s webinar in spring (



Comcast’s ad sales division, Effectv, introduces a new appeal to the advertising community this week. If any of your campaigns solely use commercials on YouTube, Facebook or other social media, they’ll be more impactful when you distribute them on television services, as well.

That’s the big takeaway of “Digital Loves TV,” a study of consumer behavior from Effectv and independent research lab MediaScience. A white paper documenting the study is available to advertisers, ad agencies and media buying firms today. One key finding: consumers are 35 percent more likely to purchase a brand, product or service unknown to them beforehand after watching a commercial for it on TV and digital, compared to exposure on digital alone.

“What we found is, as video consumption habits have changed, advertisers naturally follow their audience to digital experiences,” said John Brauer, executive director of advanced analytics at Effectv. “But we know TV’s a trusted, brand-building mechanism for our advertisers. We started with the question: How effective is a digital-only campaign at building a brand, relative to those that combine digital with TV? We found that across the board, all of your brand metrics improve when you combine digital with TV.”

More than 140 adults age 18 and over participated in the study, taking place at two of MediaScience’s lab facilities. During the study, participants watched a set of commercials on digital services (YouTube/Facebook/mobile apps) and TV networks. The sequence of commercials and where they showed up was juggled throughout the test period, so that the entire sample base did not experience the same presentation order and platform.
Some of the messages were for well-known brands, while others were for products unknown to the viewers — imaginary and created just for this effort. MediaScience technicians used biometrics, eye tracking and other procedures to monitor the test period.

Brauer maintains the study’s sample size, at 140-plus people, was appropriate “to get statistically significant results.” He declined to name the advertisers with commercials running in the test, and acknowledged a variety of categories were in play, including retail, home improvement and autos.

“There’s a level of legitimacy that TV creates for a brand, as opposed to if you’re only advertising on digital” Brauer continued. “The intent to purchase doesn’t carry through at the same level as those campaigns that had the audience exposed to both TV and digital. The effect actually stands for both known and unknown brands.”

Other conclusions of this study:
— A digital/TV combined campaign improves that campaign’s total performance.
— Popular brands, products and services consumers know and trust by heart benefit from commercial exposure on both platforms, and brands, products and services people don’t know or use benefit more.
— Viewers pay attention and spend more time watching commercials on digital services when preceded by TV exposure to those ads.

With distribution of “Digital Loves TV,” Effectv is helping its clients to understand and find better ways to use their media budgets. “This evolution of TV comes down to how we as viewers program ourselves and have the content we want to watch at the right time,” Brauer asserted.

For small local businesses as well as new national advertisers on the scene, such as direct-to-consumer marketers, the study’s conclusions can be critical to their future existence. “We’re there to help them understand that (using TV) isn’t this big challenging mystery,” Brauer added. “It’s something that anyone can do, and it’s important for them to activate (TV elements in their campaigns) in order to make that next step with their brand.”

Expect a number of research initiatives from Effectv in the near future that further probe the viewer relationship between digital and TV messages. Chances are they are not necessarily two different islands of ad activity, Brauer noted. “We see this as one media ecosystem in that the resonance of your messaging carries across those platforms.”

Could the surging number of ad-supported programming ventures circulating through smart TV sets and TV-connected gadgets — including Peacock from Comcast’s NBCUniversal outpost — benefit as well over time from these studies? Over time we’ll find out, Brauer suggested.



A new framework aimed at giving advertisers a far greater understanding of their ads’ reach and frequency across all media is to be road-tested in the US and UK, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has said.

Accurate cross-media measurement has been a long-standing challenge within the industry, and the WFA has teamed up with global advertisers and platforms to put together both a framework and a technical solution.

This, it is hoped, will help brands ensure their ads are only seen the right number of times, wherever consumers are consuming content, and will stop consumers being excessively bombarded by the same ads. At the same time, advertisers will get a more complete picture of how and where ads are viewed.

The WFA has worked with national advertiser associations during the 18-month project in order to create the framework, which identifies advertisers’ cross-media measurement requirements along with principles that advertisers believe all solutions should be bound by.

Alongside the framework, the WFA is also publishing a technical proposal for cross-media measurement, which meets the principles outlined in the framework, including those covering transparency, neutrality and auditing.

The proposal, which was developed in partnership with digital platforms, including Facebook and Google, will now be tested in the UK and the US. Central to the proposal, says the WFA, is that it acknowledges that measurement is a local business and needs considerable local governance alongside the need for some global (or “common”) components to drive consistency and scale. Any parts of the proposal that need bespoke technology will be open sourced, says the WFA.

“Cross-media measurement is viewed as the ‘holy grail’ for marketers – as it optimises marketing decision making for driving business and brand growth,” said Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

“Cross-media measurement is a global topic that needs to be answered locally, as every region has different starting positions and demands,” he added.

Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA, commented, “Advertisers have long struggled with poor quality data that doesn’t allow them to properly assess how best to invest their ad budgets across multiple platforms and media.

“This body of work provides a blueprint to build a cross-media measurement solution that responds to advertiser needs,” he stated.



This year’s TV advertising growth remains at 4% as in mid-year. Other media types are falling.

Lidl was the largest advertiser in July. At the same time, it started constructing a new store in Uničov in the Šumperská street in summer. Its opening is expected in the first half of the next year. Lidl operates 261 stores in the Czech Republic now.

c This is revealed by Nielsen Admosphere’s monitoring which calculates covered media space in combination with the price list costs rather than showing real advertising spend. The result is called the pricelist value of advertising space. The actual drop may be higher this spring, press publishers talk about up to 70%. The decline was caused by limitations resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Pricelist value of advertising space, in CZK billion
January-July 2019 January-July 2020 Difference

Rounded. Excluding companies’ own advertising. Source: Nielsen Admosphere

In July, TV grew by 2% (in June by 4%) following the decline in April and May. In the first half of the year, TV was up 4%. Press, radio and outdoor advertising stopped the recent fall of tens of percents and grew year-on-year in July, albeit by single percents.

Pricelist value of advertising space, in CZK billion
Media type July 2019 July 2020 Difference

Rounded. Excluding companies’ own advertising. Source: Nielsen Admosphere

Retail chains Lidl and Kaufland remain to be the top advertisers with the Sazka betting office squeezing in between them.

Top 10 advertisers by pricelist value of advertising space, July 2020

In CZK million. Rounded. Excluding companies’ own advertising. Source: Nielsen Admosphere