About The Benchmark Series

How Australians really engage with advertising
across different platforms and devices

Groundbreaking research from respected marketing science academic Professor Karen Nelson-Field has uncovered new insights into how and why video advertising works for brands across different media platforms.

About The Benchmark Series

Enlisting leading academic Dr Karen Nelson-Field, a Professor of Media Innovation at The University of Adelaide, ThinkTV commissioned an independent, large-scale in-home study into how Australians really engage with advertising across different platforms and devices.

The Benchmark Series sought to challenge common assertions around what works and doesn’t work in media. It identifies how the various attributes of video advertising deliver growth for advertisers.

The Methodology

Data was derived from bespoke A.I, machine learning tech and eye-tracking software from 2,583 Australians, viewing over 18,219 advertisements and the consideration of over 38,745 different brands, included the ones they were exposed to in the study’s advertising, from a discrete choice modelling exercise after their natural viewing sessions.

Watch these short videos on The Benchmark Series methodology and results:

Research Findings

Part 1 – Media Attributes That Matter

The first part of The Benchmark Series looks at the common elements within media platforms that contribute to brand growth. The research outlines a number of significant findings that are designed to help advertisers and their agencies get the best out of video advertising.

The research revealed:

  • Sales
    Using the well-established metric of short-term advertising strength or STAS** to measure the impact an advertisement has on a brand’s sales, the research found that TV was 24.1% stronger than YouTube and 22% stronger than Facebook (see table on next page and slide 19, attached).
  • Attention
    The same pattern carried for the attention paid to an ad, which Professor Nelson-Field scored based on a number of factors including active ad viewing, active ad avoidance and passive ad avoidance, measured for each second that a commercial ran. On an aggregate of these measures, TV scored 58 points out of 100. This was 13 points higher than Facebook, which scored 45, and 38 points higher than YouTube, which scored 20 (see table and slide 19).
  • Screen Coverage
    The study found that screen coverage (the percentage of a screen occupied by an ad) was highly correlated to attention and sales. On this measure, TV, at 100% screen coverage, provided 10 times more “Coverage” on average than Facebook and three times more 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 (see slide 25).
  • Brand Prominence
    The research also showed that the size, frequency and speed of introduction of a brand or product within a commercial correlates to attention and sales impact. The ads that produced greater sales impact:
    – showed the brand at twice the size of poorly-performing ads;
    – showed the brand almost twice as often;
    – and were 25% more likely to display the brand within the first two seconds (see slide 31).
Part 2 – Visibility

This part of The Benchmark Series compared the attribute of ad viewability across TV, Facebook and YouTube. The concepts of screen coverage, pixels rendered and time-on- screen were assessed against their ability to impact attention and sales.

The research revealed:
• Attention and sales are strongly correlated
• TV commands 2x as much active attention as YouTube and 14x that of Facebook
• With the same creative executions tested, TV generates a greater sales impact
• Sponsorship in quality programming improves attention and sales
• All broadcast content has a greater sales impact than other platforms
• TV screen coverage is about 3x Youtubeand 10x Facebook
• Inventory playing full screen will have a greater sales impact than ads playing on a smaller proportion of the screen

Part 3 – Emotions and Advertising

As part of the Benchmark survey of more than 2,600 Australians, Professor Nelson-Field’s team asked 140 consumers to view 15 TV advertisements and classify their feelings upon viewing. Viewers were asked to classify the intensity of their reactions and whether their emotional responses were positive or negative.

The Professor and her team then rated each ad’s sales impact using the well-established metrics of:

1. Attention – how much their eyes were on the screen, measured using eye-tracking software
2. Short-term advertising strength or STAS* (measured by how often brands were picked out by viewers in an onlinesupermarket after they had watched a series of ads)

The attention and STAS scores for each ad were then matched against the types and levels of emotions each ad elicited.

The study found that ads which generate a strong reaction, irrespective of whether or not the reaction is positive or negative, garner 16% more attention than ads which elicit weak reactions.

Professor Nelson-Field’s findings also demonstrate the link between strong reactions to advertising and resulting sales impact. Ads which generated a high emotional response had a 2.4x greater sales impact than ads which elicited a low response.

Supporting Documents:

Does Emotional Advertising Aid Advertising Effectiveness?

Media Release: TV Advertisements That Elicit A Strong Emotional Response Get Better Sales, New Study Shows

Media Attributes That Matter: The unique attributes of video
advertising and how they impact brand growth

Visibility: The attribute that really matters

Media Release: The Benchmark Series Tranche 1: World-first study
reveals how well video advertising works on different media platforms

Media Release: ThinkTV Welcomes Leading Academic’s Call
for a Review of Video Viewability Standards