GfK and Facebook joined forces to make a direct comparison of the impact produced by advertising delivered via both TV and Facebook.
Traditionally, research on digital ad effectiveness has used tags to identify panel members exposed to a digital ad. But this often assumes that each person uses a single browser on a single device – and that is an increasingly unreliable assumption in today’s multi-device world. In particular, ads served within mobile apps are completely invisible to these tags.
GfK and Facebook therefore developed an IAB-award-winning new approach. This method uses Facebook login data to enable accurate cross-device measurement via a single source panel, while maintaining absolute privacy protection across all levels.
Using this method, GfK assessed campaigns across FMCG brands in seven categories that were delivered on both TV and Facebook to the same people in Germany during October 2014 to Mar 2015. The results revealed three clear recommendations relating to short-term sales impact (i.e. campaign period plus two-weeks).
TV drives more short-term sales due to its greater reach - but Facebook drives higher impact among those it reaches, including among audiences that TV does not encompass. Maximizing Facebook reach among a campaign’s target audience will therefore improve the overall effectiveness. So, while the physical and technical characteristics of each channel are different, their effect is comparable if we balance respective reach and impact.
Facebook advertising continues to increase its impact at higher frequency levels than are usual for classical media. The exact optimal frequency will vary (according to the revenue generated by the incremental impact and the cost of the additional impressions) – but, for many brands, there may be clear advantage in considering higher levels of frequency on Facebook than they are currently planning.
Traditionally, most campaigns lead with TV. But this study showed that the TV ad impact is not significantly changed whether it is seen first or second by the individual. However, the Facebook ad impact is significantly improved if it is the first touchpoint in a person’s experience of the campaign. That suggests that FMCG campaigns could improve their impact by launching the Facebook element just ahead of the TV element in a multi-channel campaign.
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