Insights

Advertisers in the UK can now discover their best TV-plus-online media mix
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Advertisers in the UK can now discover their best TV-plus-online media mix

With audiences increasingly dividing their attention between TV and online, advertisers have sometimes struggled to find the right media mix for their cross-platform ad campaigns.  The launch of Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings in the UK, though, is allowing brands to take the guesswork out of the equation.

Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings helps brands maximise the effectiveness of their cross-platform ad budgets.  It takes the commercial exposures from an advertiser’s TV ads and online ads, and reports on the combined audience for the campaign. This shows advertisers, agencies and publishers just how many people, by age and gender, are seeing their ad across TV and online – either combined or separately across each platform. Double counting is removed.

By showing the relative cost effectiveness of the separate TV and online parts of the campaign, brands can now accurately determine the best media mix of online and TV – whether the goal is optimal efficiency or maximum incremental cover.

The system works in the UK by combining Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, launched in October 2012, with TV data from BARB. Results are delivered in terms of reach, frequency, GRPs (Gross Rating Points), unique audience and impressions – all at a ‘by day’ level, during the campaign.

Beta tests have already been conducted with a selection of leading brands, agencies, publishers and ad networks, and the response has been encouraging.

Rank Group’s Mecca Bingo tested Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings over the summer. Display media manager Ingrid Holliday comments: “We often run multi-platform ad campaigns. It’s therefore critical that we understand not just the level of combined TV-and-online exposure, but also the incremental reach delivered by online. Nielsen’s Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings service is providing the answers to our multi-channel planning questions.”

Publisher-broadcaster BSkyB also tested the system. Research and insight controller Rebecca Rangely said: “Getting a joined-up view of how and where our customers watch our content is an important goal for us, and Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings is an innovative step in the right direction towards allowing us to investigate the combined power of our TV and online platforms.”

Early findings show wide variance in ‘incremental reach’.

Early results from the various-sized test campaigns with 10 different brands show there’s a variance in ‘incremental reach’ (the additional people who see a campaign online who would not have seen it on TV).  This figure so far is between 0.4% and 14.1% when looking at an advertiser’s specified audience for its campaign, with the average being 4.1%.

The UK beta tests also show that the incremental reach is affected by the age and gender of the desired audience for the campaign. For campaigns aimed at young men, adding online placements to a TV schedule tends to generate significantly higher incremental reach than for campaigns aimed at young women.

Other early findings show that the bigger the size of a TV campaign, the lower the levels of incremental reach online. And people who see a campaign’s ads both online and on TV don’t necessarily see them more frequently than those who only see them on just one platform.

Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings is the latest addition to the ‘Reach-Resonance-Reaction’ advertising effectiveness portfolio from Nielsen. Using the ‘3R framework’, advertisers can layer additional tools to confidently measure how reach and resonance leads to reaction. With Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings Nielsen continues to spearhead the drive to increase ROI in today’s multi-platform world.

James Oates is UK managing director of digital for Nielsen