TV Response

TV Response: New rules, New Roles flips conventional thinking about response campaigns on its head. It is the most thorough investigation into TV response ever, bringing the industry’s understanding of how to optimise response into the connected 21st century


TV Response is based on last century’s truths.

Despite all the changes in TV viewing, the industry’s understanding of TV response hasn’t changed significantly in decades, leaving today’s advertisers and agencies unable to properly optimise it. These days most consumers watch TV accompanied by smartphones, which has changed everything.


We set out on a 10 month project to re-write the rules of TV response.

To rewrite the rules, we needed to understand response over three different time horizons: long-term (3-24 months), short to medium -term (0-3 months) and immediate (up to 8 minutes post-exposure). We also wanted to see how channels work together as part of a connected system of response, rather than as a series of silos. We did this by analysing more spots than any other study.


54 advertisers, 1.5m spots, 10 months of work.

We employed a unique combination of methodologies to measure response across time horizons: Brand health modelling to measure long-term effects; Econometric modelling to measure short-to-medium term & GroupM’s Spotlift tool to shed light on immediate response at a very granular level.


247 insights that can deliver a 17% improvement in ROI.

The research was launched at a standing-room-only event, and has been watched on-demand by over 1,000 people since. It uncovered 247 specific new insights, here’s a taster.

1. TV has hidden effects. Some responses to TV ads are more obvious, e.g. calling phone numbers. But TV also creates indirect responses online which are harder to unpick: 33% of sales via paid search 33% of Facebook interactions, 26% of sales via online display are driven by TV.

2. Half of the response from media is delivered in the longerterm. Most brands don’t measure response over such a long time period. Planning based on half of the picture can’t be optimal.

3. TV drives response across all sales channels. It drives social interactions (which drive SEO position), enhances the effect of digital media, drives brand health and long-term sales. Media planning needs to take these effects into account: If TV enhances the effect of digital media, then to properly optimise both they need to be planned together.

4. DRTV works better during peak, rather than in daytime, where most of the spots run. DRTV in daytime is saturated, so moving into peak reaches a new unsaturated audience, smartphones in hand. This fundamentally changes DRTV. We now have a mass of evidence that the planning and trading of DRTV needs to evolve to allow advertisers to fully optimise their plans.

Applying these rules improves TV ROI by an average 17%. Given £5bn is invested in TV each year, the research can be expected to drive millions of pounds of extra revenue for clients of every agency.

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