Why a trillion TV ads matter

57% say TV adverts have most impact of any advertising format

23 August 2012

Television viewers are forecast to watch nearly a trillion ads in 2012*, according to a report to be published by Deloitte** on behalf of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, (23-25 August 2012). The average viewer watched 49 adverts per day in the first quarter of this year, a figure that does not include fast-forwarded commercials, adverts watched by under four year olds, or TV video-on-demand adverts watched on computers or mobile devices.

TV advertising made the greatest impact in 2012 for the fourth year in a row, with 57% of viewers rating it highest, 58% in 2011, 56% in 2010, and 64% in 2009.  In 2012 TV adverts are way ahead of newspaper adverts at 15% and magazine adverts at 13%.

TV adverts continue to be regarded as having made more of an impression on viewers relative to online display media. Only 1% rated banner adverts within smartphone apps as having most impact, compared to 3% picking banner adverts on websites, a fall from 8% in 2009. Only 4% chose adverts or sponsored links in internet search engines and 3% selected video adverts on websites, the same as 2010 and 2011.

Paul Lee, director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte, said: “The UK’s willingness to consume adverts in such quantities and advertisers’ continued eagerness to invest billions in TV advertising perplexes many commentators. Some regard the traditional TV advertising model, based on the 30-second spot, as fundamentally broken.

“Deloitte’s view, based on our research, is that the traditional TV advertising model, is neither broken nor breaking. It has, for the fourth year running, maintained its ranking as the advertising medium with the greatest impact and by a clear margin. Advertising is multi-faceted and every campaign will have a different objective. At present there is no equivalent for companies to promote a new brand, product or service quickly and reach consumers across the UK.”

TV adverts’ effect on viewers
Deloitte/GfK’s research shows TV adverts generate conversation and action. Nearly 20% (17%) said they had bought the product advertised after watching it on television, 16% talked about the advert with people watching the programme with them and 16% talked about the advert with friends, colleagues or family after the programme or the next day***.

PVRs and advertising
The arrival of personal video recorders (PVRs) has had an effect on advertising. PVR owners (80%) claim to watch recorded programmes so as to allow them to skip through the adverts. However, over one quarter (27%) of 16 – 24 year olds always or frequently stop fast-forwarding when they see an advert or trailer that interests them when watching pre-recorded TV via their PVR.

The future for advertising
Deloitte/GfK’s research hints at a possible drop in appreciation for TV advertising. Younger age groups (aged 19-24) always rank TV ads highest for impact. In 2010, 63% of respondents in this age group rated TV advertising as having the highest impact; in 2011 it climbed to 69%. This year it fell to 56 per cent.

Paul Lee adds: “The likeability of TV ads may dip over the next 12 months, partly due to the state of the economy. TV advertising’s ability to entertain is a function of marketing executives’ ability to sign-off budgets. A big budget does not guarantee the popular appeal of an advertising campaign, but it can help secure the best directors, writers and acting talent as well as the most impressive visual effects and sets. In challenging economic times, companies may focus more on the tactical, manifested by a skew to promotions-based adverts and they are not as palatable in large doses.”


Notes to editors
* The data for 2012 is for Q1 only.[i] Source: BARB, 2012
** The data was compiled by GfK.
*** 2005 respondents answering the second module.

About the research
Deloitte has produced this report as part of its continuing support for the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival (MGEITF). This is the sixth year in which Deloitte has proudly supported the Festival.

Deloitte’s roles and responsibilities for this report have entailed the research, writing and publishing of the report. The principal research inputs include:

  • Discussions between January and July 2012 with executives, investors and analysts working in and with the television industry in the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and North America.
  • An online survey of 4,000 respondents, undertaken by GfK and based on a question set written by Deloitte and GfK reflecting inputs from industry executives. Fieldwork took place during June 2012. The survey was modularised and the sample split in half so that a representative sample of 2,000 respondents answered each of the two sets of modules. This modularised approach was implemented to ensure quality of response throughout the entire questionnaire. Respondents were sampled/weighted to reflect the UK adult population (16+).

Existing analyses of the television industry, including previous years’ reports for MGEITF, are available from www.deloitte.co.uk/television or please contact paullee@deloitte.co.uk

The research themes were determined through consultation between Deloitte, executives from the television, general media, technology and telecommunications industries, GfK and the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Views expressed by third parties providing input for this report are not necessarily those of Deloitte.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

About GfK Media
GfK NOP Media is the UK media division of the GfK Group global network based in 100 countries, which has its headquarters in Nurnberg, Germany.

As the largest provider of quantitative media research information in Europe, GfK has unsurpassed experience of working with JICs across all media, delivering robust results from a failsafe production system, within a transparent framework to meet industry needs.

About GfK
GfK NOP Ltd is part of GfK, one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 11,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion. For further information, visit our website: www.gfk.com. Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gfk_group.