It has been said that one must see an advertisement seven times before making the decision to buy. Now, we live in a time where the advertisement trail is not so linear. Now, people jump back and forth between traditional media platforms and the grandeur of the online world. Online advertisements are more relevant. Search queries and data tracking make it so, and what was once a game of repetition is now like a game of chess, where every move is made with mathematical precision. Some even fear that traditional media ads are falling out of favor, and that, soon, online ad campaigns will be the last ones standing. But what if one cannot survive without the other? Namely, what if the greatest success of an online advertisement depends on the boon of television?
The Science of Television
In a study by Thinkbox, researchers used neuroscience to paint a more detailed picture of the effects television ads have on our emotions and long-term memory. They used MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and SSTs (steady state topography) to map out which parts of the brain were most active during television advertisements. The same methods were applied to study the effects online browsing had on participant engagement.
Results revealed that television advertisements had much higher levels of engagement and memory encoding. However, the Internet did better than television at keeping a participant's visual attention. Researchers also found a correlation of over 70% between the level of engagement and long-term memory encoding for all advertisements. It' s not so much a matter of repetition as it is a matter of creativity and timing. What makes a television ad “work” involves several factors: timing, editing, music, humor, and so forth. In fact, research showed that advertisements with music were more engaging than those without. Nevertheless, to have a memorable ad, the ad must be creative. But how can you make your perfect piece of creativity memorable both offline and on?
The Complementary Duo
In the study, subjects watched an entire program on television complete with participating advertisements. The same subjects perused the boundless web. The factors most involved in a viewer’s decision to buy (emotional charge, engagement, and memory) were significantly higher during the television programs. But visual attention was higher online because the journey is not passive. Rather than watching, participants must make quick decisions and act rather than react. Online browsing encourages alertness. Together, television and online advertisements make a powerful branding duo. Both are capable of elevating a brand to affect its audience in a way that neither platform can do alone.
TV Dinner, Online Dessert
Other studies have shown that ads have a greater impact if they are seen on television first, online second. Part of the study tested this by flipping the order in which a brand was seen. Half of the participants watched the television program first while the other half started online. The results reinforced what was already thought to be true: television increases an ads effect when seen again online, but the same cannot be said for the reverse.
Enhance Your Brand With Multiple Platforms
No matter where you are in your marketing journey, consider the possibilities of a multi-platform advertising strategy. Both traditional television advertisements and online advertisements are effective on their own, but each platform holds its strengths and weaknesses. When combined, however, your brand will be far more memorable.