29 April 2016
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Bigger is better: TV ads capture Canadians’ attention

Once more, it’s time to Share the TV Love! and this week’s input comes all the way from Canada, where the trade body thinktv carried out a survey that supports what our industry considers obvious: that ads viewed on a TV set attract more attention than those viewed on smaller screens.

In news that should surprise no one, people pay more attention – by a massive margin – to ads viewed when watching a TV show on television than those seen on a Facebook feed, whilst watching user generated content (UGC) on a cell phone, or within a Twitter feed.

Marketers may have been seduced by the digital mistress, but it’s TV ads on a television set that really get the message across, and that’s true for “the elusive” Millennials as well.

The study

thinktv surveyed 1,000 Canadian adults to find out how well different platforms hold their attention when it comes to video advertising and content. The results were striking: the majority of Canadians pay most attention to TV programming on a TV set – and that attention extends to ads on TV as well.

When asked what video advertising they pay most attention to, Canadians overwhelmingly responded that ads within TV shows on a television set grabbed them best, 3x more than video ads on Facebook (2x more for Millennials) and 9x more than watching UGC on a cell phone (4.5x more for Millennials).

About half of Millennials (49%) surveyed rank video ads on a TV set as the ads they pay most attention to, compared to just 24% who picked Facebook, 11% UGC and a tiny 2% who indicated that they pay most attention to video ads within their Twitter feeds.

There are a number of reasons Canadians love watching content on a TV set; they prefer it because of its bigger screen size (68%), because it’s more social (42%), and because it offers a better picture quality and more detail (38%).

The preference for a TV set over a small screen is so strong that 68% of Canadian adults – and 55% of Millennials – have never watched their favourite show on a cell phone.

The study also shed some interesting light on multi-tasking behaviours, specifically whether people use their cell phone while watching TV. Whilst all groups show reasonably high incidences of multi-tasking, and this is especially the case for Millennials of both genders and even more so for young women, a quarter of Millennials never or almost never use their cell phones while watching TV.

Why this matters for egta members

Marketers need advertising to engage their target consumers, and that can only happen when attention to their messages is high. The superior quality viewing experience and doubtless the relaxed environment of television gives the medium a huge advantage over video ads served on smaller screens.

Online platforms offer great opportunities for brands to connect with audiences, but the power of television advertising to attract and hold the viewer’s attention should never be underestimated.


Share the TV Love!

Did you know that egta is actively working with other trade bodies around the globe to promote television’s power and its evolution across the world?

Well, now you do! This group is called PEPP.TV, and it brings together 15 trade associations whose mission it is to promote television in their country and beyond. Our new year’s resolution for 2016 is to share interesting information, projects, slides and research that have been published by these associations and to make sure that broadcasters and sales house in Europe are equipped with the latest facts to actively and proudly promote the universal strength of television.


Target: TV
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Infographic (please click here)

» Detailed results (please click here)

» Press release (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here to download the PDF version of this egtabite.

Previous Share the TV Love! issues:

» Research finds television advertising drives one in three visits to car dealerships.

»The real weight of television: an inconvenient truth.

egta recommends

» White paper by FreeWheel:

The Unrivaled Value of Premium Video

The paper highlights that premium video delivers valuable audiences at scale, in a high-quality, safe, and transparent context. 

Download for free here.


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