YuMe, Nielsen: Online Video Ad Dollars Make TV Spend Work Better

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January 25, 2012 – 9:07 am

It stands to reason that if a consumer sees an ad in enough places -- particularly a 30-second TV spot that also runs online -- that there should be en uptick in brand lift, reach and recall.

But proving that to marketers is sometimes difficult, because in many cases, the numbers aren't there. And if they are, then they're probably too expensive to justify the spending on an ROI basis.

With that in mind, video ad network YuMe conducted a study using Nielsen TV/Internet Fusion, attempting to show the impact of online video when combined with a major CPG TV advertising campaign:  reach, frequency, and recall increase substantially even as the CPM rate decreases, the study found, suggesting that marketers erase the distinctions between "online video" and "traditional TV" and simply mix the two when allocating their budget.

The study is meant to drive home the point that online video ad spending makes TV ad dollars work smarter and harder, and ultimately, cheaper, Ed Haslam, YuMe's VP of Marketing, told TVExchanger in an interview.

But it also leads to additional questions: how much brand lift/recall/reach do ad networks have to prove in order to begin to close the gap in marketers' spending? How precise do these cross platform measurements have to be?

YuMe and Nielsen wouldn't identify who the client was beyond saying that that it involved a "major consumer packaged goods" client of Omnicom media shop PHD that spent a $500,000 online video ad buy along with the client's $2.6 million TV flight last September.

YuMeAmong the findings:

  • After running on YuMe's in-stream video ad network, increased reach against the targeted 35–54 age demographic by 7 percentage points. In addition, more than 6 million people in the target demographic were not reached by the TV schedule alone, and were picked up only when online video was added to the schedule.
  • The number of respondents exposed to the PHD campaign 3 or more times increased by 31 percent, while those exposed to the campaign six or more times rose by 52 percent.
  • Although less than one-sixth the cost of the TV schedule, the $500,000 spend invested in the YuMe Network drove an increase of 34 percent in gross rating points (GRPs) from the original TV schedule. The cost per point (CPP) was reduced by 11 percent.
  • Impression-per-impression, YuMe claims the online video ads outperformed TV in terms of both brand and message recall compared to the campaign TV norm. Results of a Nielsen TV Brand Effect analysis showed an increase of 22 percent for brand recall and 31 percent for message recall one day after the exposure.

"We're going to start doing this sort of thing for all major clients," Haslam said. "Lack of solid measurability is why TV ad dollars have not substantially moved online. We worked with Nielsen on this because they are the recognized currency for TV measurement. Once marketers get used to aligning their TV ad spending with online video, the gap between the two will start to close."

Closing that gap between traditional TV and online is something YuMe has been increasingly focused on. Since last year, it has been trying to position itself as one of several bridges between online and TV by serving as an ad platform for LG and Samsung TVs. Home entertainment tech firm Rovi is another company that also has an ad platform for connected TVs and has similar agreements with Samsung and LG as well.

Lack of comparable, apples-to-apples measurement has long been cited as holding back digital ad spending in general.

While there is an argument that says that GRPs, the traditional TV ratings measurement, is inadequate to measuring online. Advertisers and media buyers are familiar with GRPs, which is part of the appeal of bringing it to online. But others feel that more precise methods of online measurement, such as calculating engagement, which involves counting exactly how many users watched a video, and for how long, or how many clicked a link within the ad—are the best way to determine effectiveness, and in turn, how much to spend on a web video.

But the other argument is that for brand campaigns, which don't tend to drive clicks, the inferences made by Nielsen's panel method is enough. Attempts to more accurately count each view and glean insight from those counts would be too costly for most advertisers to bother with right now.

And there's another reason advertisers are still reluctant to match their online ad expenditures to TV -- namely, the lack of quality, premium content when compared with traditional programming. Since that's something measurements can do little to address, YuMe's approach with Nielsen may just convince large advertisers to gradually increase their video ad spending after all. If anything, YuMe's partnership with Nielsen represents a good first step for balancing the spending between TV and online video.

By David Kaplan

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January 25, 2012 – 9:07 am

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