The Association of Commercial Television


The proliferation of digital has led to shrinking budgets in the traditional space such as TV. According to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, traditional TV ad revenues to shrink annually from 2019 to 2021, falling from US$184 billion to US$180 billion in 2021. Interestingly however, while everyone is turning towards digital, four companies – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google – also known as FANG on Wall Street, increased their spending by 70% to US$1.6 billion last year in the US.

Astro’s CEO Henry Tan said during the Malaysian Media Awards and Conference organised by the Media Specialists Association titled “Game Changers”, that the issue of the shift in budgets does not lie with TV itself but the way the medium is being measured. According to Tan, “old, archaic methods” are still being used to measure TV. On the other hand, digital allows companies to obtain live data, enabling them to know who exactly is being engaged. He explained:

“Digital advertising has far more information, is far more fact-based and sounds more intelligent and accountable. Therefore, it is thought of as being more effective.”

However, according to him, every piece of research including the FANGs’ behaviour, says that TV is still the most persuasive medium of all ad behaviours.

Despite the rise of digital, the popularity of TV has not declined. Instead, Tan said digital “has accelerated and promoted TV’s popularity”. What has changed, however, is that consumers no longer watch TV in a linear manner but instead, are watching it online or on the go on their mobile phones and tablets, for example.

“Again, the measurement tools available in our industry today do not account for all of that. While the progress of technology has offered consumers the flexibility of watching TV when and where they want, the measurement has not caught up,” Tan said. He added that when companies try to please consumers and offer them more flexibility, they end up being “penalised by the research”.

For example, if a consumer watches TV on demand on their mobile phones instead of linear TV, such behaviour is not included in industry research. This is the same case for radio, with consumers listening to radio on the go not being tracked in research studies, Tan explained.

As such, he urged companies to analyse what exactly they are buying into – whether it is effectiveness or measurement of TV. He added that if the measurement is flawed, industry players should collaborate to change it as a whole as there is no need to change the medium if it is effective and persuasive.

Tan also pointed out the issue of media research being siloed into TV, radio and digital, using different measurements and currency. “This is absolutely ridiculous. It’s the same consumer but research is done in silos. It’s as if the people listening to radio are different from the ones watching TV. If they are the same consumer base, why is the research carried out differently?” Tan said.

Besides siloed media research, another piece of information that is absent in today’s industry is the cross media consumption pattern, Tan said. He explained that companies are unable to find out the behaviour of consumers across the different types of media they consume.

To be true game changers, Tan said the industry needs to work together collectively and come up with a standard measurement for all mediums. According to him, such a move would be “revolutionary” because everyone is talking about it but nobody is moving this agenda forward. Tan added that a standard measurement will also offer clarity and transparency. He also explained that “not everything new is good and not everything old is bad”. Tan added:

“Be smart. Get the best of both worlds, don’t follow blindly but instead think about things. The most important thing is that the industry must work together to change the game.”

Are Malaysian brands ready for addressable TV?

Addressable TV is one area that allows brands to deliver targeted advertising on TVs based on the household content consumption. It has the ability to show targeted ads to different households and reach more specific audiences with better creative flexibility.

While it be an interesting way of offering personalised advertisements to consumers, Tan said addressable advertising matters to certain brands not all. He explained that for companies selling basic common denominators such as shampoo, for example, addressable TV would not make sense since they are trying to reach the masses. On the other hand, addressable advertising would make sense for companies in the luxury sectors. He added:

“This is what I mean about being smart. Addressable TV is great but if you are a brand that’s supposed to be marketing to the masses, why bother subcategorising?”

“There is a rule in place for different solutions. You cannot take one solution and apply it across the board, that would be wrong. So companies have to think about what is relevant to their brands and services,” Tan explained.

Separately, the local entertainment scene has come a long way, he added. Tan recounted the time when Malaysian movies in particular were “struggling” to maintain box office sales. According to him, it used to be big news when a movie amassed RM4 million in box office. Also, in 2017, local movies only contributed 5% of the total box office nationwide, Tan said.

However, things changed in 2018 when three to four Malaysian movies crossed the RM30 million box office mark, which is “something we have never seen before in history”, Tan said. He added that the contribution of local movies to nationwide box office increased to 15% within a year. “This tells you that there is an interest in local entertainment. That’s really exciting to me because all of us are working hard together to champion and promote Malaysian content,” he added.



When it comes to online video offerings Czech Internet population prefers to watch films and TV shows. Trends in video content consumption, however, vary by age group. “The Internet Video 2019” study conducted by Nielsen Admosphere offers a detailed view of TV through the eyes of the often ignored group of respondents aged 37–51. TV viewers of this age category rarely watch TV shows in a foreign language and prefer comedies.

“The Online Video 2019” included 1,308 participants from a population of active Internet users, aged 15+.

In general, currently the most frequently watched types of Internet video content are films, TV shows and music videos. The specific ranking, however, differs for various socio-demographic groups. For example, men prefer to watch films (at least several times per week), then comedic videos, followed by music and news. Women prefer by far TV shows, then films and, finally, music videos. The 37+ group particularly loves to watch films; younger viewers watch mostly music videos and TV shows.

The most watched types of online video content

At least several times per week

Base: Those, who watch online video, N=1277

Films, TV shows, Music clips, News, Funny videos

An independent piece of the “The Online Video 2019” study is a survey of the relation between TV shows and respondents aged 37–51, the so-called Husak’s children. Eighty-nine percent of such respondents, who watch video content of all types on the Internet at least sometimes, indicated that they watch TV shows when doing so.

But TV show viewers of this age category don’t have a particular way of watching content. “A little bit against the expectation, a relatively frequent way of watching TV shows with the so-called Husak’s children is binge-watching. This is preferred by 47% of them,” according to Lucie Vlčková, Senior Research Manager, of Nielsen Admosphere. The remaining 53% prefer to watch individual episodes – thus (among other things) in a way television broadcasting offers it.

The so-called Husak’s children prefer the genre of comedy TV shows (according to 72% of viewers), then crime TV shows (61%) and then adventure (47%).

The most popular are TV shows in the Czech or Slovak language – either Czech or Czech/Slovak dubbing production (90%). Only 6% prefer to watch TV shows with Czech subtitles, 2% with English subtitles, and 2% in English without subtitles.

What is your preferred way of watching TV shows?

Base: Respondents ages 37-51 who watch TV shows, N=459.

In Czech, Slovak (even dubbed)

With Czech subtitles

With English subtitles

In English with subtitles




The emergence of digital-first, direct-to-consumer brands as a significant, growing pool of new TV advertisers was a big theme this past spring during the upfront. I believe that D2C brands will become such an important part of the TV ad industry over the next few years that they will end up reshaping in their own image much of how TV advertising operates.

Why do I believe this? One, because television generally, and TV advertising specifically, are in critical phases of transformation. Two, because digital technology and approaches are transforming every part of the industry. Three, because generational change in key leadership roles on both the buy and sell side are accelerating that change. Four, because TV companies themselves are all transforming to become direct to consumer.

And five, most importantly, because nothing reduces resistance to change like money. D2C brands represent not only a significant pool of new ad dollars for television — but these brands and ecommerce are quite likely to represent the dominant spend on TV within five years.

What might the D2C-reshaped world of TV advertising look like? Here are some of my thoughts:

More focus on audience. Most D2C brands launched in a digital ad world that focused on audiences first and content second. While they certainly also value the importance of context and positioning, it is critical for them to find their audiences wherever and whenever they are on TV. 

As former P&G executive and fellow columnist Ted McConnell famously says, ”brands don’t have remnant customers — so why should they view any audiences at any time as ‘remnant?’”

More focus on automation. D2C brands are expert in customer analytics, and they want to leverage data from their analytic systems across all of their media buys. That means buying units and time more precisely. That means buying across many properties. That means making and changing buys at the last moment. Faxes, phone calls and handshakes won’t be enough for them. Real automation in the TV ad “demand fulfillment” will become table stakes for TV companies.

More focus on scatter. D2C companies operate much more dynamically than legacy brands with their long, slow supply chains and complicated networks of distributors and retailers. D2C companies need more nimbleness, and most will be happy to embrace the flexibility of scatter over discounts in the upfront.

Less pomp and more performance. Folks who allocate D2C advertising budgets are under much more scrutiny for ROI on a daily basis than most of their legacy brand counterparts, so I suspect that we’re going to see less focus on the “pomp” that the TV industry showers on legacy marketers and media folks, and more focus on performance. In other words, there will be less focus on hosting celebrations of splendor honoring TV ad buyers on a weekly basis and more focus on discussing and improving the CAC (customer acquisition cost) of TV ad campaign spots relative to search, social and cost-per-click ads.

What do you think? Will D2C brands reshape the TV ad world in their own image?



New research from marketing science academic Professor Karen Nelson-Field reveals the extent to which video advertising affects consumers’ product choices for up to a month after they are exposed to an ad.

The ‘Decay Edition’ of Professor Nelson-Field’s ongoing Benchmark Series, commissioned by ThinkTV, contains a number of findings that are designed to help advertisers and their agencies get the best out of video advertising.

Professor Nelson-Field found that ads placed in a TV content feed, viewed on any screen, positively impact sales for far longer than ads on either Facebook or YouTube.

In fact, memory retention for TV advertising was so strong that its impact on sales after 28 days was greater than Facebook or YouTube could generate at their peak, that is, immediately after viewers saw ads on those platforms. Professor Nelson-Field puts this down to TV’s superior viewability.

Professor Nelson-Field used bespoke A.I. machine-learning technology and eye-tracking software to remove human bias in her team’s data gathering for the Benchmark Series, which is explained below and here, in these short videos:

This latest tranche of the Benchmark Series sought to understand and compare the length of time after exposure that an ad can impact consumer product choice (sales) on the three major video platforms – Facebook, YouTube, and TV – across different screens.

Earlier findings had revealed short term sales impact scores for the three platforms by asking more than 2,500 participants to visit an online supermarket to choose products they wanted to purchase immediately after being exposed to a series of ads.

In this latest tranche, Professor Nelson-Field asked participants to re-visit the online supermarket 14 days and then 28 days after initial exposure.

Professor Nelson-Field discovered that the residual effect of an ad exposure varies significantly by platform and screen, specifically that:

  1. Upon re-testing, TV and Broadcaster Video-on-Demand (BVOD) advertising was shown again to have the strongest impact on sales immediately after exposure compared to Facebook or YouTube, irrespective of screen.
  2. Ads watched in a TV content feed, viewed on any screen, generated a stronger impact on sales immediately after exposure than ads watched on YouTube or Facebook, and continued to generate greater impact long after Facebook and YouTube advertising memories had stopped influencing consumers’ product choices.
  3. Advertising on Facebook and YouTube faded from memory quickly and had an impact on sales for little more than six days, whereas TV advertising’s impact on sales lasted 10 times longer.
  4. For every one day of impact generated from Facebook or YouTube advertising, the equivalent impact from TV/BVOD advertising was nine days.

Commenting on the results, Professor Nelson-Field said, “These new results show that some platforms work better than others when it comes to delivering that other crucial element of media effectiveness, the ability to be remembered over time.

“Not only does TV advertising generate a greater sales impact in the short term, it also sustains that sales effect by remaining in consumers’ memories for longer.

“TV continues to have this impact because of viewability. Tranche One of Benchmark showed that screen coverage and pixels are the dominant factor in generating attention and cut-through.

“TV commercials play full screen, are 100 per cent viewable and do not suffer from playing ‘below the fold’ or scrolling.

“So TV wins in two ways. Its sales impact is high up front and its decay rate is slower than competitors.

“It’s important to note that advertising works by reaching lots of people close to the buying occasion. Our decay results highlight one single group of people that were exposed to an ad on a particular day.

“But there will always be a new group of unique TV watchers tomorrow. So buying fewer impressions because the decay rate on one single exposure is superior to online would be the wrong conclusion to draw from this research. All you would do is simply miss reaching lots of new people who are close to a purchase occasion.”

ThinkTV chief executive Kim Portrate said: “The latest Benchmark findings clearly demonstrate that TV is not only the best video media platform for short-term sales impact, TV is also the best for long-term effects by enabling creative to be remembered for longer.

“And long-term effects are important for brand growth. All advertising fades over time but TV ads shine brightest and fade slowest, leading to stronger cut-through and impact on sales and longer campaign retention.

“On mobile, BVOD is the optimal choice if you want your ad to continue to impact of your target audience’s product choices over time. And when it comes to the longer-term, TV content on a TV screen remains king for influencing consumer behaviour.”

ThinkTV director of research, insights and education Steve Weaver added, “It is fascinating to discover that the residual impact from advertising in a TV content feed on mobile after 28 days is at around the same level that online platforms can deliver at their peak, immediately after the exposure.”



As a part of its membership in the professional organization egta, the Association of Television and Radio Companies from Europe and beyond, the Association of Commercial Television was granted the opportunity to host egta’s 2019 professional CEO & Top Exec’s Summit – the annual, 2-day egta-member meeting, where media companies share their experience, inspiration and contacts. This year’s meeting took place on June 6-7 and included more than 220 participants from 33 countries. 

Amongst the 35 speakers, who were representatives of egta members but also advertisers, media or research agencies, were Ivan Yamshchikov, AI Evangelist from the Max Planc Institute, Stéphane Berubé – L´Oréal’s CMO for Western Europe, and Kim Younes – from the French media group M6 Publicité and Chris Goldson – from the British commercial leader ITV. The Czech media houses were represented by Jan Vlček from TV Nova/CME, Martina Říhová from Active Group and the client’s point of view was brought by Petr Janeba from Škoda Auto ČR.

“The subheading of this year’s summit was “Building Bridges,” which is a big and up-to-date topic and not only for our television industry. This era has been changing rapidly; technologies are developing very fast and have crucial impact on consumer behavior. We, the media, thus have to adjust not only to the changing viewer habits but also to the demand and expectations from advertisers. Events like egta CEO Summit give us a valuable perspective on what and how our foreign colleagues deal with and, at the same time, inspire us as to what could work for us,” says Marek Singer, AKTV’ s president

“The CEO and Top Exec’s Summit was the ideal opportunity to remind our delegates that both TV and radio are thriving now that they have digitally transformed and are available across a multitude of screens, devices and audio platforms. The exchange of insights, benchmarks and best practices in our constantly evolving industry illustrate that – whereas we can compete on the content that we propose to viewers – there are plenty of reasons for broadcasters to collaborate in the face of increasingly international competition. Our sincere thanks goes out to AKTV for graciously hosting the Summit in the beautiful city of Prague and providing the ideal conditions for these insightful two days,” adds
Katty Roberfroid, Director General, egta


As BARB releases its latest Viewing Report, Wavemaker’s Emma Moorhead discusses how new multiple-screen data is changing the way that agencies plan television

The media industry is in search of the Holy Grail: a single-source measurement of TV viewing across all screens and channels. In 2018, we got one step closer to this with the launch of multiple-screen viewing figures, the first stage of BARB’s Project Dovetail initiative. While these additional data are very much welcomed, how do they change the way we deliver the best outcomes for our clients?

Overnight viewing figures have formed the bedrock of how we plan, buy and optimise television campaigns. The launch of a new campaign goes hand-in-hand with securing a kick-off spot in a top-rating programme to reach a mass audience. If a programme over- or under-performs, next-day negotiations ensue to secure the desired number of exposures. But in recent years, displacement of viewing has made this task more complicated.

Linear television viewing is now regularly timeshifted. On average, people watch 29.3 daily minutes of television timeshifted, and this timeshifted viewing accounts for an average increase of 15% on a typical overnight rating. Sometimes it can be more; the launch episode of Shipwrecked on January 28th 2019 was watched live by 219,000 people, but the consolidated 7-day figure more than tripled to 685,000. Consolidated ratings used as a proxy for reach become progressively difficult to estimate, making the buyer’s job increasingly complex.

Some content is still watched live by the majority of its audience, in particular event programming – think of England in the World Cup. BARB data break down the numbers watching live or timeshifted within seven or 28 days, so we can buy the right spot when that live first-look is still the key metric; we’re starting to see greater nuances in how we plan our television content.

In addition, while it’s well-documented that linear television consumption is in decline, this is partially compensated for by the growth of BVOD services. The appetite to consume high-quality content for several hours a day remains, albeit fragmented across screens. BARB’s new multiple-screen viewing data give us insight into how programmes are viewed across TV sets, PCs, tablets and smartphones.

For example, in 2018, Love Island gained up to 27% incremental viewing uplift from non-TV devices, while Family Guy gained up to 8% uplift. Nonetheless, as a whole, non-TV set devices add less than 2% to TV set viewing; the TV set remains the favoured means of viewing.

And despite these additional data on device consumption, we remain none the wiser as to the incremental reach BVOD can offer to a linear television campaign across all screens.

Using BVOD to supplement reach is centred in a linear television-first approach to planning. Interestingly, another aspect of BARB’s data suggests that alternative approaches could be sensible to deliver impact in a fragmented viewing world. BARB can now measure viewing to programmes on BVOD services before they are broadcast.

For example, 1.15m people chose to watch the second episode of Save Me via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast on TV sets; this was more than half of the total TV set audience of 2.19m. This increased throughout the series, with the final episode watched by 83% of people via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast.

Understanding how programmes are consumed influences how we approach planning. A linear-first approach misses the opportunity to reach audiences when the content is at its most valuable; when it’s providing the watercooler moment. We should instead be moving towards an audience and content-first approach – buying the right programming, at the right time for greatest impact amongst viewers.

The need to re-evaluate our planning approach becomes even more prominent when we consider that changes in consumer behaviour are starkest among younger audiences. Ad-supported YouTube and SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon remain the top challengers to television’s incumbent media owners.

BARB’s measure of unidentified viewing – where the TV set is used to do something other than watch a BARB-reported channel or BVOD service – includes viewing to SVOD services and online platforms. In 2018, unidentified viewing accounted for 48 daily minutes for all individuals, rising to 71 minutes for 16-34-year-olds. Greater insight into this consumption would be very much welcomed.

YouTube has expressed a willingness to be part of BARB’s Joint Industry Currency (JIC) model, but in its own words it wants to be “represented appropriately and fairly”. Here remains a fundamental problem with reconciling television and online viewing.

Television is measured by impacts in units of 30 seconds, whereas online is measured by impressions with no time exposure element. For the two to be comparable, we need to use duration-based measurement for online viewing. Everything needs to be clearly labelled so we aren’t comparing apples and pears.

Meanwhile, addressable television is on the rise but is far from ubiquitous. In order to realise the long-promised future where television is a more efficient, targeted and digital-like medium, we need to reach a point where content and distribution are more vertically integrated.

In this future, new measurement opportunities may complement the data offered by BARB through the likes of set-top box data. A more digital-like television future offers the opportunity to deliver precision at scale.

Trusted and accurate measurement remains essential to accountability, planning

and optimisation, and increasingly so in a world where we see displacement, fragmentation and disruption. Ultimately, we need to understand the value that each exposure drives for advertisers. The outcomes are what are important; measurement allows us to link exposure to value.

The industry must come up with a measurement solution enabling better understanding of viewing patterns across all screens and channels. This is still some years away, even in the most advanced markets.

BARB’s Project Dovetail in the UK is setting the example, although we must remain patient before we achieve multiple-screen advertising campaign performance. Regardless, the JIC principles underpinning Barb should not be weakened or compromised.

Despite everything, linear television has sustained advertiser demand, giving the impression that it is as effective and essential as ever, but for how long, and in what balance relative to the alternatives?



What does this say about programmatic video ads?

Despite marketers’ efforts with advanced programmatic and data targeting for video ads, consumers still find that they are more likely to be served a relevant ad on linear TV.

According to a survey conducted by Adobe in February 2019, 49% of US internet users said that TV was one of the mediums where they were most likely to see a relevant ad, while just 12% said the same about streaming video.

Valuable ad placements and the ability to reach a mass audience have kept TV ads relevant in the digital age. But digital video allures marketers with advanced targeting through programmatic advertising, which uses audience data that TV doesn’t have.

This year, we estimate $29.24 billion will be spent on programmatic video ads—accounting for 81.2% of digital video ad spend. For TV, just 4.0% of ad spending in the US will be programmatic.

There are many perceived advantages to programmatic advertising, most of which revolve around lower costs and the ability to harness data. In response to a November 2018 survey by Digiday Research, 56% of US agency and brand media buyers said that increased targeting and optimization was the biggest advantage of programmatic advertising. But if viewers still find TV ads to be more relevant, then programmatic may not be as effective as some marketers perceive it to be.

Consumer sentiment does indicate that ads are becoming more relevant overall. In the Adobe study, 46% of consumers felt that the ads they saw currently were more relevant than those they were served a year prior. But, most marketers can agree, there’s still a long way to go before personalization is perfected.

Only 32% of marketers believe their industry is delivering personalization effectively, according to a survey conducted in February and March 2019 by Evergage and Researchscape International. When asked how satisfied they were with the level of personalization in their own marketing efforts, 50% said they were either not satisfied or slightly satisfied, and 34% said they were moderately satisfied.

While marketers may have faith in programmatic’s potential to target the ultraspecific, it is possible that the accuracy of the data just isn’t sufficient—and that’s why these ads aren’t resonating with viewers.

Many marketers would agree, per the Evergage/Researchscape International report. Nearly half of respondents (45%) felt they didn’t have sufficient data and insights for effective personalization.



People watching “social shows” like “Dancing with the Stars” or “The Bachelor” on television and simultaneously sharing their views on Twitter are more likely to be committed to the program and shop online, according to new research from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Marketers have feared that social media distracts viewers from commercials and minimizes their impact. But this research found the opposite. “Social shows” are more beneficial to advertisers because commercials that air in those programs generate more online shopping on the advertisers’ websites.

The international marketing research firm Nielsen estimated in 2014 that 80 percent of U.S. television viewers simultaneously used another device while watching television, often live tweeting to share their views, for example. The trend has led scholars to coin the term “social TV.”

“Participation in online chatter about a program may indicate that viewers are more engaged with the program,” said Beth L. Fossen, assistant professor of marketing at Kelley. “Online program engagement may encourage a loyal, committed viewing audience. And media multitasking may decrease the ability for the viewer to counterargue or resist persuasion attempts, increasing ad effectiveness.

“We find that advertisements that air in programs with more social activity see increased ad responsiveness in terms of subsequent online shopping behavior. This result varies with the mood of the ad, with more affective ads — in particular, funny and emotional ads — seeing the largest increases in online shopping activity.

“Our results shed light on how advertisers can encourage online shopping activity on their websites in the age of multiscreen consumers.”

In the study, Fossen and her co-author, David Schweidel of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, sought to determine how the volume of program-related online chatter is related to online shopping behavior at the retailers that advertised during the programs.

In addition to their findings that social shows benefit advertisers by encouraging online shopping activity, Fossen and Schweidel also found that increases in online chatter about a retailer lead to increased traffic to the company’s website in the first five minutes after the advertisement appears.

They also found that ad timing affected online shopping. Ads airing near a half-hour interval — such as 8:28 or 9:02 p.m. — spurred more online purchases than ads aired at other times. Commercials airing earlier in the evening generated more web traffic than those airing before the late-night news.

Fossen and Schweidel studied the online shopping activity of 100,000 active internet users, which they paired with data on commercials for five retailers and nearly 1,700 instances of advertising on 83 prime-time programs during the fall 2013 television season. They considered online traffic and sales on the retailers’ websites, prime-time advertising, social media comments mentioning the TV program or the advertiser, and characteristics of both the program and the advertising.



Data can now make TV more effective. Even Byron Sharp should welcome more accurate targeting.

Brands and their agencies face a dilemma.

On the one hand, evidence from Byron Sharp shows that brands should drive reach of all purchasers in the category as often as possible. What’s more, according to effectiveness gurus Peter Field and Les Binet, TV remains a critical part of the mix for delivering this reach and cost-effective growth.

But, at the same time, the ability of TV to deliver the requisite levels of reach has deteriorated rapidly. Over the past five years, the number of gross rating points required to reach 50% of an all-adult target audience has risen by 50% in the US, 40% in France and 22% in the UK. Other markets show similar trends, making Sharp’s vision harder to deliver. There’s a reach gap and it’s getting bigger – especially among younger audiences. It’s also becoming significantly more expensive to generate that reach.

To fill the gap, some brands have boarded the personalisation-at-scale bandwagon, targeting high-value individuals with personalised messages. But this is an extreme reaction. Huge amounts of money have been invested in the technology and data to deliver such personalisation – but it’s questionable whether the investment can be recouped.

Moreover, not all reach is equal. So, while it is possible to fill the reach shortfall with digital activity, it may not be possible to match the impact that TV-driven reach generates – especially at scale.

The dilemma is that TV remains critical, but there’s a reach gap and efficiency is diminishing. So, to compensate, we are facing a huge investment in a data-driven solution. Ultimately, this compromises the Sharp/Field and Binet dream and makes it harder to deliver effective reach of category users.

But there is a solution. One that retains the ambition of delivering Sharp’s reach strategy, addresses the shortfall in TV delivery against the real category users and frees up budget to fill any reach gap.

That solution is the intelligent application of data.

By applying the same data we use to activate personalised digital activity at scale to TV, we can plan airtime to actual category users instead of demographic proxies for category users. That may sound like a semantic change, but it’s actually hugely significant.

Fusing our behavioural data with TV viewing data enables us to plan a campaign against specific interests – dog owners, say – instead of 25- to 45-year-old BC1s. Planning in this way frequently generates in excess of 10% improvements in the cost of reaching the people that Sharp demands we contact: category users.

Data allows us to deliver actual category users, rather than people who look like category users.

Delivering reach more efficiently in this way releases investment for more targeted video activity – filling the reach gap against a consistently defined target audience. And, more than this, by using a single data source to plan activity across digital and TV, we can measure cross-media reach and identify those that have not been exposed to the TV activity.

Incremental video support can then be directed at these individuals, maximising reach against category users. Thus, Sharp is satisfied, personalisation at scale is delivered, relevance is maximised and ROI is stabilised.

The same data sets can also be applied to other channels, such as radio and outdoor. This lets us quantify and identify an audience in more detail than traditional media metrics allow and invest more accurately.

These principles can be applied to every sector, ultimately making TV more powerful and more effective, while, for the first time, reassuring marketers that they are actually reaching all (or many more) of their category buyers.

If it’s true that TV will become more programmatic in the future, then some of the more technical lessons learned online will be applicable to our most important medium, but that will take time.

For now, it’s important to remember that data isn’t simply the preserve of digital – it can be applied to every channel and every strategy. The impact is massive, and with smarter targeting strategies it can help any brand.

David Beale is global chief data officer at MediaCom




Lindsey Clay, CEO of Thinkbox, has been appointed as the first President of the Global TV Group, the informal grouping of TV broadcasters, sales houses, and trade bodies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America.

The Global TV Group was set up in 2013. egta is a founding member of the Group and acts as its coordinator.  It is a forum for sharing knowledge, exchanging best practice and collating global TV intelligence. To date it consists of 14 TV industry associations from across the globe.

Each year the Group produces The Global TV Deck, a valuable databank designed to meet the needs of advertisers eager for transparent, robust data and fresh insights about TV advertising’s business performance.

Lindsey Clay, Thinkbox CEO:

“I’m honoured to be The Global TV Group’s first President. The TV industry, so used to being nationally-focussed, needs to work together more internationally to tell the incredible story of its cultural and business-transforming power, and its rapidly accelerating technological capabilities. Viewers and advertisers have never had it so good. A great story is there to be told.”

Clay has been CEO at Thinkbox since 2014.

For more information on the Global TV Group, please visit

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 140 members operating across 40 countries.

About Thinkbox

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. It works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.

Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Broadcasting and UKTV, who together represent over 99% of commercial TV advertising revenue through their owned and partner TV channels. Associate Members are Discovery Networks Norway, Disney, TAM Ireland, Think TV (Australia), thinktv (Canada), TVN Media (Poland), TV Globo (Brazil), TV 2 (Norway), TV 2 (Denmark), DSTv (South Africa), and Virgin Media. Discovery Networks UK & Ireland and STV also give direct financial support.

TV has more to offer advertisers than ever before. In a cluttered media world, with new voices clamouring for advertisers’ attention, TV continues to stand out as proven, trusted and – most importantly – pre-eminently effective.

TV shapes popular culture. The investment our broadcasters make in premium quality TV shows catering to every taste – and available on any screen you wish – creates an advertising environment that is second to none.

From ensuring that the facts about TV are known (and myths challenged) to understanding how and why TV advertising works, explaining how TV is changing, showcasing innovative and affordable solutions and constantly providing the rigorous proof of effectiveness that advertisers need, Thinkbox is here to help businesses meet their marketing objectives.


Recent Comments

    Recent Comments