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Study: Broadcast TV advertising has major influence over shoppers

The studios of KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado, one of over 60 television stations owned by TEGNA. (Photo via Google Street View)
The studios of KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado, one of over 60 television stations owned by TEGNA. (Photo via Google Street View)

Advertising aired against broadcast, cable and on-demand television content has the highest impact on potential shoppers compared to any other medium, according to the findings of a new study released this week.

The study, commissioned by the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB), compared the effectiveness of advertising and its influence across a number of mediums, including broadcast and cable TV; radio; postal mail; billboards and other out-of-home platforms; newspapers and other print mediums; and digital platforms like e-mail ads, streaming services and websites and apps associated with radio and TV stations.

Local broadcast TV earned the highest score for trust among users surveyed, while the websites associated with broadcast TV “are the most-trusted among digital platforms.” By comparison, social media platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter) and Instagram were viewed as the least-trustworthy, the study showed.

Among shoppers, TV advertising carried the most influence from interest to actual purchase of a product good or service, the study remarked.

“This is true for all categories, key demos, and ethnic groups, [and] it’s also true of streamers,” a spokesperson for TVB wrote in a whitepaper that outlined the study’s findings, noting that 67 percent of respondents said TV was the “top platform for exposure to advertising.”

While the study played up broadcast and cable TV’s importance to the advertising industry, it also included signals that should be good news for streaming video platform developers. According to the report, streamers are more-likely to be exposed to ads on linear TV compared to adults who consume other forms of media, and all TV watchers — streamers included — are more motivated by TV ads when it comes to their online search selections.

A chart measuring the influence of television advertising on online search selections among consumers.
(Chart courtesy Television Bureau of Advertising)

The study further weighed the effectiveness of TV advertising influence across eight core categories, including automotive, banking services, quick service restaurants (QSR), online and in-store retail, legal service and others.

According to the report, nine out of 10 people exposed to TV advertising for furniture bedding or carpeting said those commercials influenced their online search selections, while 88 percent of people said the same for car-related searches.

Just 82 percent of TV viewers said advertising influenced their decision to search for banking services and personal insurance — the lowest two categories out of the set. Across all categories, 85 percent said TV advertising influenced their online searches.

A chart measuring the influence of television advertising on online search selections among consumers.
(Chart courtesy Television Bureau of Advertising)

The survey also evaluated the trust Americans place in various local news platforms, with the presumed indicator that trust correlates to advertising effectiveness.

According to the survey, 73 percent of respondents said they agree with the statement that news aired on local broadcast television was trustworthy, compared to 65 percent of respondents who said the same for radio news and 61 percent who affirmed as much for cable TV news.

Trust fell when it came to online news, even when those articles were published by broadcast TV or radio stations, with just 64 percent saying they trust news appearing on broadcast TV websites. That figure fell to 57 percent for cable news websites and 56 percent for broadcast radio websites.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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