The Benchmark Series: Video advertising on mobile

World-First Study Reveals The
Strength of Video Advertising On Mobile Devices

The latest release of The Benchmark Series from Professor Karen Nelson-Field compares the awareness, coverage and, most importantly, the sales impact of TV, Facebook and YouTube video advertising delivered via mobile devices. While the results may surprise, the bottom line is that when it comes to brand and business growth, nothing trumps TV, on any device.

The latest tranche of The Benchmark Series seeks to compare the sales impact and attention generated by video advertising viewed on mobile devices on Facebook, YouTube, and TV (over Broadcaster Video-On-Demand services).

It found that:

  1. Video advertisements viewed on mobile devices by consumers of Facebook, YouTube and Broadcaster Video-On-Demand (BVOD) all generated a positive sales impact for brands.
  2. On mobile devices the sales impact of BVOD is 33% higher than Facebook and 17.5% higher than YouTube.
  3. The sales impact of TV video advertising outperforms Facebook and YouTube irrespective of screen.


Sales Impact

  • Using the well-established metric of short-term advertising strength or STAS** to measure the impact an advertisement has on sales, the research found that BVOD on mobile devices performed 17.5% stronger than YouTube and 33% stronger than Facebook.


  • The same pattern carried for attention, which Professor Nelson-Field scored out of 100 based on the results of eyetracking measurements. On an aggregate of these measures, BVOD scored 63 points out of 100. That was 9 points higher than Facebook, which scored 54, and 19 points higher than YouTube, which scored 44.

TV wins on every measure

  • Professor Nelson-Field found that the sales impact of TV video advertising outperformed YouTube and Facebook irrespective of screen. So TV, whether viewed on a TV screen, computer or mobile device, delivered a significantly stronger result than both Facebook and YouTube on those platforms’ best performing screen, mobile.

Screen Coverage

  • The study found that screen coverage (the percentage of a screen occupied by an ad) was highly correlated to attention and sales, in line with previous findings from the Benchmark Series. On this measure, TV, at 100% screen coverage, provided almost four times more screen coverage than Facebook and three times more screen coverage than YouTube, which Professor Nelson-Field identified as one of the key reasons for TV’s ability to have the most impact on sales.


  • Professor Nelson-Field explained that because mobile screens tend to be held closer to the viewer’s eyes their peripheral vision adjusts to the screen proximity, which means that passive viewing on mobile is worth more to sales than passive viewing on other devices. (N.B. Professor Nelson-Field did not investigate other factors in advertising success such as the impact of reach and reach velocity.)

*What was the Methodology?
Using bespoke A.I. machine-learning technology and eye-tracking software, 2583 Australians were exposed to 18,219 advertisements under natural viewing conditions in the home. Respondents were then tasked to go shopping in an online shopping mall, where they were able to consider up to 38,745 different brands including the ones they were exposed to in the study’s advertising. Called ‘Discrete Choice Modelling’, this approach is widely used and is academically-validated as the most accurate way to reveal consumers’ actual choice of brand as opposed to mere intention to buy. For more on methodology see explainer videos here, which can be embedded into stories Benchmark Series Methodology in 2 minutes, Benchmark Series Methodology in 4 minutes.

** How is STAS measured?
STAS is the acronym for Short-Term Advertising Strength. STAS is calculated by determining the proportion of category buyers who bought a specific brand having not been exposed to that brand’s advertising, and comparing this to the proportion of category buyers who were exposed to advertising and went on to buy the brand. A STAS score of 100 indicates no advertising impact in that those who were exposed to the advertising were just as likely to purchase as those who were not. A score above 100 indicates that the advertising had an impact on sales.


Video Advertising on Mobile