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Television advertising continues to reign

24 August 2011

  • Television adverts have the greatest impact on consumer behaviour;
  • Online display advertising struggles to make an impression.

Television advertising had the greatest impact on consumer behaviour in 2011 according to a Deloitte report, with fieldwork by GfK, on behalf of the Edinburgh International Television Festival, which takes place, between 26 - 28 August 2011.

The UK’s appreciation of television advertising continues to go from strength to strength, with 58 per cent of respondents ranking it among the top three most influential advertising formats. Since 2009*, the TV advert has been consistently rated by respondents as the advertising type with the most impact. Deloitte/GfK’s survey of 4,000 UK citizens, found newspapers were the second most influential with 15 per cent of respondents, magazines were in joint third place at 14 per cent alongside solicited emails. In contrast, banner adverts polled poorly again in 2011 (4 per cent), online video adverts, also underwhelmed (3 per cent) and adverts or sponsored links on Internet search engines failed to capture consumers’ imaginations (3 per cent)**.

Popularity of television advertising with the young

Television advertising’s appeal, consistent with previous years, is strongest amongst young respondents, with 18-24 year olds rating television advertising’s impact the highest at 69 per cent, an increase from 63 per cent in 2010. Over a third (38 per cent) of those aged over 55 consider that no form of advertising has an impact on them, compared to only 9 per cent amongst 18-24 year olds.

James Bates, Deloitte media partner said: “Television advertising has continued to go from strength to strength in 2011.  This can be attributed to television excelling at brand building and raising awareness and audiences are appreciative of television advertising, with younger viewers being television adverts’ strongest supporters.

“Television adverts’ number one ranking is due to many factors including high production values for many television adverts and the fact that the UK public spends a quarter of its waking hours watching television.”

PVRs and television advertising

In 2011, Personal Video Recorder (PVR)*** penetration is forecast to exceed 50 per cent for the first time. As PVRs reach into the majority of UK homes, its actual impact on advertising has been largely counter to initial expectations. The ad-skipping forecast has come true only as far as PVR owners’ perceptions are concerned.  51 per cent of viewers with access to a PVR reported that they always fast forward through the adverts at maximum speed. However, TV advertising is being consumed in greater quantities than ever before, with an estimated 47 adverts per person viewed daily in the first half of 2011, up from 33 in the first half of 2002.****

Deloitte/GfK‘s research also shows how the PVR may be changing the value of the position in an advertising break. Almost half of all PVR owners “always” (20 per cent) or “frequently” (27 per cent) stop fast-forwarding adverts when the programme’s sponsorship appears.***** 80% of 25-34 year-olds stop fast-forwarding through ads at some point if they see an advert or trailer that interests them.

James Bates adds:  “In cases where all advertising is fast-forwarded, there can still be an impact from advertising as viewers’ recognition of just a single image from the advertisement can aid recall.”

When respondents were asked what would encourage them to watch the entire advertising break, they cited shorter advertising breaks (50 per cent), more memorable advertisements (29 per cent), advertising that focuses on one theme, such as cars or food (6 per cent), or personalised advertisements (11 per cent).

Future challenges

James Bates concludes: “Successful marketing campaigns run across multiple media, each complementing the other, each reaching the target audience in a different context, but all conveying the core message.

“Multiple advertising media exist and are sustained because they are diverse. Each medium is optimal for a specific marketing objective.

“In the future, the audiovisual impact of adverts should increase. If brief and memorable, they can be consumed dozens of times without wearying the audience. New forms of television adverts will emerge, including the revival of interactive adverts and the arrival of targeted adverts. The industry will need to ensure that it evaluates the true potential and likely investment of each new advertising format before taking major strategic decisions or projecting major new revenue streams.”

Other key findings

Relevance of the traditional television advert
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of the respondents who were most likely to pay attention to a video advert broadcast on television, were most likely to pay attention to a standard length advert shown on television. An extra long advert (more than 30 seconds) was only chosen by one in five (18 per cent). Sponsorship messages played around a programme were only chosen by 9 per cent.

Video adverts
Of those who are most likely to pay attention to video adverts online, 64 per cent prefer online video adverts shown before they start watching a programme/video online, compared to adverts shown at the end of the programme (6 per cent).

Influence on buying a new service or product
Of all the respondents who admit to finding out about a new product or service from seeing it on a television advert, one in five (19 per cent) were highly influenced by seeing it on a television advert and 65 per cent were quite influenced by seeing it on a television advert.

TV adverts most widely remembered
When respondents were asked to think of the advertising campaign they considered to be most memorable in 2011, 80 per cent ranked television highest followed by cinema at 3 per cent.


Notes to editors:

* Advertising rated by respondents as the advertising type with the most impact - 64 per cent in 2009, 56 per cent in 2010 and 58 per cent in 2011.
** Another new category.
*** A Personal Video Recorder records all your favourite TV shows directly onto a hard drive.
**** Deloitte/GfK, June 2011, all respondents with access to a PVR (839 respondents).
***** Source: Thinkbox, based on data from BARB.

About the methodology
An online survey of 4,000 respondents, undertaken by GfK based on a question set written by Deloitte and GfK based on inputs from industry executives. Fieldwork took place during June 2011. The survey was modularised and the sample split in half so that a representative sample of 2000 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 adult population (16+) of the UK.

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 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.

The GfK Group
The GfK Group offers the fundamental knowledge that industry, retailers, services companies and the media need to make market decisions. It delivers a comprehensive range of information and consultancy services in the three business sectors Custom Research, Retail and Technology and Media. The No. 4 market research organization worldwide operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 10,000 staff. In 2009, the GfK Group’s sales amounted to EUR 1.16 billion. For further information, visit their

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Laura Parsons
Deloitte LLP
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