The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Thinkbox Data Video Advertising

TV advertising is the biggest driver of word of mouth, web traffic and corporate reputation according to 'POETIC' research


By Gillian West, Social media manager

March 20, 2013 | 3 min read

TV advertising is responsible for over half (51 per cent) of brand word of mouth according to research commissioned by marketing effectiveness consultancy Data2Decisions and Thinkbox.

The ‘POETIC’ research – ‘Paid, Owned, Earned: TV’s Influence Calculated’ – revealed that in total 72 per cent of brand conversations were driven by paid-for advertising with at least 90 per cent of brand conversations taking place offline. The research looked that the relationship between ‘paid media’ (advertising), ‘owned media’ (primary brand websites), and ‘earned media’ (word of mouth).

Over half a million data points for 36 brands across three marketing categories – retail, finance, and drink – including data from word of mouth specialists Keller Fay, YouGov’s social media monitor Brandwatch, and data directly from brands, were analysed for the findings.

“Word of mouth can be marketing magic, but paid advertising’s causal effect is often overlooked with too much emphasis put on what is easily counted or highly visible – where the conversation happens rather than what drove it. This research has revealed for the first time what actually stimulates people’s brand conversations and it is clear that investment in advertising – and especially TV – is key to getting people to talk about your brand positively,” commented Neil Mortensen, research and planning director at Thinkbox.

TV advertising was revealed to be the biggest generator of word of mouth with 51 per cent followed by PR/events/brand news with 19 per cent. Online search, changes to products and services, print advertising, and outdoor advertising followed with 12 per cent, nine per cent, four per cent, and two per cent respectively. Radio advertising was found to be the least effective at garnering word of mouth with 0.5 per cent claiming it was influential.

The research also showed that TV advertising generates word of mouth longer than any other communication channel, driving 85 per cent of word of mouth in week one and two of activity and 72 per cent in the third week. According to the study running TV advertising every three to six months will help maintain levels of brand discussion.

TV advertising was also found to be the most significant driver of web traffic with 47 per cent of extra visits generated by TV advertising. Other key drivers of web traffic were found to be offline word of mouth, online advertising, PR, and online word of mouth with 12 per cent, 9.5 per cent, eight per cent, and six per cent respectively.

The findings show the TV is the key driver of corporate reputation, as measured by YouGov’s BrandIndex, accounting for 52 per cent of the positive impact on corporate reputation. PR/brand news/events are the second most powerful enhancers of corporate reputation with 24 per cent and direct mail and online advertising having shorter lived effects on corporate reputation.

Data2Decisions director, Katherine Munford, added: “While conversations naturally occur as consumers use products and services, brand communications generate significant word of mouth. Owned and earned online platforms amplify the effects of paid media by providing hubs for conversation, but delivering a long term impact is best achieved via paid media – with the audio-visual power of TV being especially powerful.”

Thinkbox Data Video Advertising

More from Thinkbox

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +