The latest survey conducted by GfK Marktforschung on the sales impact and success factors of TV advertising
A recent survey conducted by GfK Marktforschung investigated the sales impact and success factors of TV commercials. The long-term analysis shows that the impact of TV advertising has not fallen over the past few years.
In a recent survey, GfK Marktforschung investigated more than 160 TV advertising campaigns for fast moving consumer goods. In order to measure sales success, the purchases made by a test group of households, where the test commercials were integrated into a television program, were compared with a control group. The households of the latter group exhibited comparable purchasing behavior, but were not exposed to the test commercials.
Over the past 20 years, the tested TV ad campaigns have generated an average 20% increase in market share in comparison to that of the control group. This rise was primarily generated because the number of customers also increased by approximately 20%. An analysis of test results between 2001 and 2011, shows that the average sales impact of TV commercials has remained stable.
However, the long-term comparison of 20 years also shows that the best TV spots over the past decade generated smaller increases in market share and penetration and were not able to maintain the success of the best TV campaigns of the earlier decade.
Then again, an analysis of the tests from the past five years shows that the trend has meanwhile abated and that the top campaigns are now again able to deliver stable results. The minor slump which occurred around 10 years ago can be attributed to the diversification of the advertising landscape and a growing online ad share.
Consequently, the average sales impact of TV advertising has remained constant over the last 20 years, and only the top campaigns suffered slight dips in their sales impact around a decade ago and have since stabilized. This clearly invalidates the common theory that the impact of TV commercials is falling in the long term.
Budget is decisive for the success of TV campaigns
An analysis of the effect of TV commercials in relation to the overall exerted advertising pressure shows that the average market share in terms of volume rises concurrently with increases in advertising pressure, and this only diminishes when advertising pressure reaches its apex. A similar trend emerges for penetration.
Of the TV campaigns tested in the survey, 81% recorded a significant increase in market share. And of these, 73% ran other ad campaigns that generated at least an average uplift. Despite a below-average advertising budget, 27% recorded above-average success. On the other hand, 19% of the tested campaigns did not generate significant sales impact. For 72% of these campaigns this was attributable to a below-average budget for TV commercials. However, 28% of the unsuccessful campaigns had no less than average financial resources.
This analysis therefore demonstrates that both the budget for television advertising and advertising pressure have the greatest impact on market share and penetration. However, other influencing factors, such as creativity and an ad campaign’s message, certainly also play an important role.
The test market of GfK MarketingLab®
With GfK MarketingLab®, GfK has developed a range of complementary, actual and simulated test markets and shopper research, which can be used to check the market potential of marketing measures before making the high investment for their effective implementation. The main priority is to minimize the risks. Prior to nationwide product launches, marketing departments can discover the effect of implementing multifaceted advertising strategies in complex markets and how successful marketing mixes can be used to actively shape markets.
This survey analyzed TV campaigns of various brands from different product groups, covering a considerable range. The findings can be selectively evaluated and used as a benchmark for GfK MarketingLab® test projects.
The GfK Group
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Nuremberg, Germany - 2 March 2011