Multiscreen advertising can improve reach — in theory | Connected TV Summit 2014 | Shows 2014 | Rapid TV News
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When managed together, TV and digital could hold the potential to drive real impact for advertisers — enabling them to maximise the customers they reach and/or reinforce key messaging across screens.

So says new research from Nielsen, but so far the code for doing so hasn't been cracked.

The analyst says that traditional TV still accounts for the lion's share of video viewing, and will likely continue to do so for a good while, it's clear that online and mobile is where the video growth is, and where future growth will be. Its research found that from the Q4 2012 to Q4 2013, the hours consumers spent watching online video grew 30%.

"Not surprisingly, advertisers believe the integration of campaigns across multiple screens is important and will become even more so, but the effectiveness of these campaigns in maximising results has been mixed," the company noted.

Specifically, a recent analysis of 45 campaigns measured by Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings found that the vast majority of advertisers' 'integrated' TV and online campaigns did not achieve better results than if the TV and online advertising had been planned separately.

On average, these integrated campaigns reached only 7.6% of the intended audience via both TV and online. That result is little different than the completely random duplication (7.0%) that advertisers could expect if they had planned their campaign for each screen independently.

Nielsen believes that this highlights a true missed opportunity.

"Nielsen research shows that, with careful planning and execution based on more precise identification of their desired TV and online audiences, marketers can generate an average of 8% greater reach, or achieve significantly higher frequency, without spending more money or altering their mix of spend," it said.

Nielsen added: "Return on investment is every marketer's top priority for ad spending, and companies should be moving quickly to master the ability to claim the full synergies available between media. Those who crack the cross-platform advertising code the soonest will build an experience base that provides a significant edge over their competitors while also earning the greatest possible return on their advertising dollar."