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New Research Shows Online Ads An Effective Driver of Offline Sales and Branding for CPG

Monday, August 24, 2009

comScore and DunnHumby recently released a co-sponsored study proving that the offline sales lift from online display ads can exceed lifts realized from TV. Not only were sales lifts from the internet higher than TV, but they were also achieved sooner. Additionally, an impact was seen across 80% of the campaigns that ran on the internet.

Offline Sales Lift from CPG Brand Advertising
Comparison Between TV and Internet
Total U.S.
Source: Information Resources, Inc. and comScore, Inc.
TV (IRI)Internet (comScore)
Sales Lift+8% over 12 months+9% over 3 months
Percent of Campaigns Showing Statistically Significant Lift36%80%

In 2008, Google commissioned a study with Harris Interactive among three CPG brands to compare the brand building effectiveness between traditional TV and online platforms. Effectiveness was equated to impact and engagement.

Identical traditional TV ads were shown on three distinct platforms: 1) on TV, 2) on a computer screen replicating a YouTube video environment, and on a computer screen replicating a click-to-play video embedded in content. The Harris Interactive results showed that :30 commercials on YouTube and embedded video ads performed at parity with TV. All three were on par with the ability to communicate key messages about the brand, strengthen likeability, and drive purchase intent.

The two pieces of research referenced above support that internet advertising is an effective medium to increase offline sales and branding, both very important metrics for CPG.

But have CPG companies been shifting ad dollars from TV to Offline?

Trended data from TNS Media Intelligence show that TV spend accounts for about 58% of total ad spend and this has been a consistent share of total ad spend since 2005. Even for year to date June 2009, this percentage still holds. However, we see that so far in 2009, internet ad spend has increased from about 2% to 4%, but these ad dollars were reallocated from newspaper and radio. It will be interesting to see if and when shifts occur from TV.