This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

Bookmark Email Print page

TV ads keep dominating

4 September 2013

  • 52% say TV adverts have the most impact of any advertising format
  • 14% made a spur of the moment purchase after watching a TV programme or advert

Half (52%) of the UK public regard TV ads as the advertising format with the most impact, according to a report* to be published by Deloitte.

This is the fifth year that television has come top. However, the proportion of respondents ranking TV among their top three has fallen steadily over the past five years from a high of 64% in 2009.** Newspaper advertising’s impact has fallen from 30% in 2009 to 14% in 2013, with the impact of radio advertising fallen from 18% in 2009 to 8% over the same period.

Television still performs well relative to digital formats. The highest rated digital advertising medium over the last three years was opt-in e-mails, rated among the top three formats by between 13% and 14% of respondents over 2011-2013. Video ads and banner ads on websites fared less well, ranking among the top two for only 2% of respondents.

Ed Shedd, head of Deloitte’s UK technology, media and telecoms practice said: “Television advertising continues to have a big impact on the public and capture their imagination because it consistently attracts a large audience, with a typical viewer watching more than four hours a day.

“Although we are over a decade into our digital revolution, for every hour spent watching television, we spend about three minutes on YouTube and two minutes on Facebook.”***

The adverts are also writ large, with over 12% of TV sets sold in 2012 over 42 inches or larger. In the UK there are close to a trillion adverts shown every year and there appears to be limited scope for further growth.

Television as the shop window
Television’s influence on internet search and then subsequent sales is supported by Deloitte’s research. Over one in ten respondents (11%) searched for a product having seen an advert or sponsorship on TV. Among 16-24 year olds, the proportion was 24%. Overall 13% of all respondents and 18% of 16-24 year olds bought the product advertised.

Paul Lee, director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte said: “TV’s impact on purchasing is known, but there is no equivalent mechanism that traces its impact on purchasing online, although our research suggests this. Demonstrating the link between viewing and online activity could increase the value of TV advertising as it would provide evidence of TV’s ability to persuade consumers to buy goods on the spur of the moment.”

Television leads to spur of the moment purchases
This year Deloitte’s research highlights how TV campaigns can complement online sales, and TV’s ability to encourage consumers to buy new products and services. TV programmes and advertisements were the third most common reason for a spur of the moment purchase (14%) compared to coming across it in a store (23%) and a friend/family member recommending it (15%). In contrast, Twitter persuaded only 1% to buy, and seeing an advert in an app on a tablet or smartphone persuaded only 2%.

Future of television advertising
One innovation that the TV industry should evaluate is addressable advertising, to deliver commercials with greater precision, based on aggregated sets of data on the household. The perception of traditional TV advertising is that many commercials are seen by people who are not target customers.

Paul Lee concludes: “The ceiling for the number of TV adverts that can be shown may have been reached. The number of adverts seen per person each day rose steadily between 2007 (40) and 2011 (47), but has since changed little since. This may reflect the number of adverts UK viewers are willing to tolerate.”


Notes to editors

* The report includes results from an online survey of 2,517 nationally representative respondents in the UK looking at a wide span of TV consumption patterns and attitudes to TV. The survey was fielded by GfK and based on a question set written by Deloitte and GfK reflecting inputs from industry executives. Fieldwork took place during June-July 2013. Respondents were sampled and weighted to reflect the UK adult population (16+).

** This is compared to 57% in 2012, 58% in 2011, 56% in 2010, and 64% in 2009.

*** In June 2013, 97% of the population watched TV for an average 106.8 hours and 96% watched commercial television for an average 72.9 hours. In this month, TV viewing was 28 times greater than that for Facebook, and 19 times greater than that for YouTube. Based on analysis undertaken by Thinkbox using data from BARB and UKOM for June 2013.   

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 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
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with around 13,000 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 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.

In December 2012 GfK won the coveted award for ‘Best Research Agency with a turnover over £20m’ in the UK by the Market Research Society.

To find out more, visit or follow GfK on Twitter:

Media contacts

Laura Parsons
Deloitte LLP
Job Title:
+44 (0) 20 7303 0885

Share this page

Email this Send to LinkedIn Send to Facebook Tweet this More sharing options

Get in touch

More on Deloitte