We’ve reached a tipping point in advertising—digital ad spend surpassed TV spend for the first time in 2016, and digital investments are projected to accelerate even more over the next several years, driven by spend on video ad units. Despite this trend, TV still gives brands unmatched reach, which translates to significant organic views online.
For example, brands spending $25 million on average in this seemingly dying medium received over 4 million online organic views across Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram in Q1 2017, compared to less than 500,000 organic views among brands spending $4.5 million. This indicates that TV benefits brands in the form of organic views, triggered by offline impressions that both build brand recognition and drive traffic to brands’ social media pages.
As an example, Tide built organic reach off of its Super Bowl TV campaign via YouTube, in part by capitalizing on search traffic. Despite hefty investments in TV and a fair amount in YouTube, Tide still managed to achieve a 19 percent organic view rate on YouTube, highlighting the halo effect from TV advertisements that brands enjoy online. Search volume for “Tide” on Google experienced a bump after the teaser ad, and jumped following the Super Bowl.
In another instance, Nike backed its “Equality” campaign in February 2017 with a significant investment in paid media to boost reach across all digital platforms and TV channels. This provided a noticeable halo effect across digital media, resulting in 57 percent organic views—more than half of all digital impressions.
The campaign’s outsized organic reach on Facebook was especially surprising, given the pay-to-play nature of Facebook’s advertising landscape. In the days and weeks following the initial paid post, the brand’s posts peaked at nearly four million organic views.
It’s clear from these cases that brands with major budgets can continue putting money behind TV assets and expect to see spillover effects online, meaning TV still reigns supreme for now.