Advertising Facebook Technology

Facebook helps TV ads reach an additional 5% of the population ignored by the average campaign


By The Drum Team | Editorial

October 26, 2016 | 4 min read

Facebook’s charm offensive on the TV industry is gathering pace as it publishes research that trumpets its ability to ensure campaigns reach an additional 5% of people that would have otherwise missed it on TV.

Facebook targeted adverts

Facebook is delivering more than 100 million hours of video to its users every day.

This is highest among the lucrative millennial audience, where the social network reaches 22.6% and 14% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 25 to 34-year-olds respectively, found the study’s researchers Nielsen.

It analysed the reach between Facebook and TV on 25 campaigns across 2014 and 2015 in the hope of furthering a dynamic the social network has been exploring for some time. Against the target audiences of these 25 campaigns, the incremental reach rose to 16.1%. This means that one in six people within a target audience are seeing a campaign on Facebook and not on TV, claimed the report.

“Based on this insight, we at Facebook believe a marketer should be planning video via an integrated media plan that brings together TV, VOD and digital video into a single coherent whole,” the report continued.

Had Lucozade not used Facebook in its 2015 Rugby World Cup sponsorship strategy then it would have missed a fifth (21.2%) of the 7.2 million 13 to 34-year-old men they reached on the social network and on TV, claimed the study. This was done at a CPM 14X lower than TV, and drove “significant” uplifts in cut-through and association between Lucozade and the key message, added researchers.

“Rugby’s showpiece presented a prime opportunity to highlight our long-standing involvement in Rugby Union, and Facebook provided the most effective way to reach our target audience,” said Nathan Quaye, social media manager at Lucozade Sport

“Facebook’s impact was clear: we were able to effectively reach our target audience with increased efficiency whilst also delivering significant uplifts across a number of key brand metrics.”

Similarly, Facebook reached a further 10.3% of Iceland’s target audience who were not reached by the 1,200+ GRP TV ‘Power of Frozen’ campaign. It meant that reach was 2.5 times more cost-effective than the TV campaign.

“Facebook gave us a platform to contact most of our target market – 79% of mums are online in the UK,” said - Andy Thompson, social and digital manager at Iceland Foods

“We were able to reach 7 million users with an on-target accuracy of 95%. Facebook allows us to reach the people that we may not otherwise have been able to reach.”

While Facebook acting as an amplifier for TV is nothing new, with Pepsi, Sky and Cadbury among the previous case studies to be cited, it’s the timing of the latest research that speaks volumes about Facebook’s intent.

The social network has been meeting TV broadcasters this year in the hope of getting them to commit to host more content on the platform. Keen to avoid the tensions that have tinged its relationship with publishers, the social network has been at pains to point out that it has no designs on replacing channels or hosting TV shows, and instead wants to be the place people come to engage with those brands when they’re not being watched.

Facebook’s director of agency partnerships Ed Couchman told The Drum recently that an Instant Articles-like proposition would work for broadcasters, but admitted “we need to work it out together because quite simply we don’t have the answers”.

That Facebook is has gone to the effort to commission the report and attempt to develop a commercial product for broadcasters spotlights the difference between its efforts and those of its rival Google. Where the social network is building a narrative built on how it wants to work with broadcasters, YouTube has arguably been more antagonistic in its bid to steal ad spend away from TV.

Advertising Facebook Technology

More from Advertising

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +