The love that finally dares to speak its name

I’ve got used to reading articles from organisations which operate largely within internet marketing with a nice cup of tea by my side, so that I remain calm. But I recently read one the other day from Comscore (the major internet research company) that made me think someone from Thinkbox must have infiltrated them, bound and gagged its staff, and started writing blogs for them.

It was entitled ‘The Lure of TV Advertising for Internet Businesses’ and it examined why so many online businesses are now advertising on TV. It gave three reasons why TV is so attractive to online businesses:

1. TV viewing is growing
2. No other medium can compete with TV on instant impact and reach
3. The effectiveness of TV has not declined, probably the reverse

Remember, this is Comscore writing! I urge you to read it for yourselves. Although they are writing about the US all their points hold true for Europe.

It struck a chord, not only because it felt like we’d written it, but also because a couple of months ago we ran our own analysis of online brands advertising on TV and found they had become the fastest growing TV advertising category.

We found that investment in TV advertising dominated online brands’ advertising investment (over 70%). Investment had grown by nearly 2,000% over the last five years (172% a year) and the number of online brands on TV had increased by 700%, with two online brands in TV’s Top 10 spenders.

The main reason for this is clear and empirical: online brands have first hand, immediate experience of TV advertising’s ability to create online traffic. 94% of the UK claims to have gone online as a direct result of watching TV in the last 12 months, according to our research. And this activity is one reason for TV advertising’s market-leading growth this year; even brands with a long purchase cycle, like cars or banks, can see the interest that their TV ad has generated, even if they have to wait for the sale.

We’re seeing this in action at the moment with our new TV ad. Our ad has been on TV for less than a week and already it has been sought out on our website and YouTube over 300,000 times, Harvey has garnered nearly a 1,000 Facebook friends and our website traffic is up 400%. However, you won’t catch us confusing cause and effect. We know that’s only happened because our ad has been seen over 50,000,000 times on linear TV already.

Online brands are enjoying the immediate traffic that TV creates, but in a few years’ time they’ll be blessing their TV investment for building them brands that can withstand new entrants. I am always very happy to say that search and websites are the best thing that’s ever happened to TV advertising – I don’t find it even slightly embarrassing or compromising – and I always hoped that, one day, internet companies and specialists might return the compliment. Big thanks, Comscore, for starting the love-in.

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  • charlie robertson

    great stuff; well done

  • Jams Karter


  • Vincent Haywood

    Steve, twitter and facebook played a massive role in the brands pulling out advertising. That impacted on NOTW. You can’t deny that.

  • Tom Blackett

    In the interests of salvaging their bid for BSkyB, their share price and their reputation, News Corporation have “shot the messenger”. The allegations against NoW are rancid; but if they are trues then it is the people responsible who should be punished, not a fine old brand, millions of readers and blameless staff.

    The Murdochs have acted with characteristic ruthlessness. But they have done an enormous disservice to British newspaper publishing. Nothing can be gained from closing the News of the World, other than the perpetuation of deep suspicion in the integrity of the Murdoch’s practices elsewhere in their organisation.

    The News of the World brand is far bigger than the unprincipled people who have in recent years worked for the paper – and perhaps too than its owners.

    Tom Blackett