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Facebook says its ads work better with TV than previously thought

Facebook says its ads are more effective if combined with TV

Facebook has previously lauded its ability to help TV advertisers reach more people. But, this week it revealed that TV and Facebook work together better than its previous estimates.

The media-giant worked with WPP-owned Kantar Worldpanel on a study investigating whether people exposed to advertising on Facebook and TV are more likely to purchase the products or services they are exposed to.

It builds on a study it published last year with Nielsen which found that Facebook could help advertisers reach an additional 5% of people they would have otherwise missed had they purchased media space on TV only.

As part of the study, Kantar, which collects a large range of purchase data via an in-home barcode scanning panel, as well as details of their media exposure, analysed 13 video campaigns run by FMCG brands.

Based on the figures from TV-only exposure and Facebook only exposure, the social giant expected to see a 22% uplift in likelihood to purchase when exposed to ads on both channels.

But the Kantar model showed the figure was actually 29%, a 1.3X increase on what was expected.

“It shows that with Facebook and TV....they both work on their own, but the value is in using them together,” explained KiriMitchell, media insights director, Kantar Worldpanel.

“The reason we’re excited about this analysis is that it confirms what we thought for a long time but weren’t able to prove," added Richard Bussy, UK & Ireland measurement lead at Facebook. "Much like in life, when to people tell you the same thing....when two channels tell you the same thing you're much more likely to buy."

The ad campaigns all ran across Facebook, some included Instagram, and came from verticals ranging from alcohol, confectionery, personal care and soft drinks. They all ran for varying durations (between four and six weeks), with campaign budgets ranging from just £100,000 to over £2m.

When researchers first looked at the return on ad spend (ROAS) of each campaign individually, they found that 11 of the 13 campaigns produced positive returns.

The average ROAS across the campaigns was £1.79, and ranged from £0.59 up to £5.38.

Across the campaigns in the study, TV had a 4.7X greater household reach than Facebook.

After accounting for campaign spend, Facebook had an average 1.9X cheaper cost of reach.

Adding in the sales return linked to exposure through each channel, Facebook was found to have an average 1.8X greater sales uplift on a per household basis.

Kantar also layered demographics over reach which showed that Facebook was slightly weaker in reaching heavy TV viewers, but stronger in reaching light viewers, and (of course) non-TV viewers.

Despite this different TV viewership composition, there was no difference at all in the proportionate make-up of brand or category buyers. This means that the different audience(s) reached by Facebook were just as valuable to an advertiser as the reach they typically get on TV, according to the study.

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Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is deputy news editor at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in the retail and FMCG sectors. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

All by Jennifer