Combining Online Video with TV Advertising Doubles Brand Recall

Fahrenheit Marketing
Fahrenheit Marketing in Design

A recent YouTube/Ipsos Study divided 2400 participants into three groups, and compared interaction between television and YouTube advertisements that played before the selected video. One group was shown TV ads, one group was shown ads on YouTube and the third group was shown a combination of the two. The group viewing both types of advertisements displayed two times the brand recall for 15 second ads, and 1.5 times the brand recall for the 30 second ads.

There are many factors that may contribute to increased brand recall when viewing ads in multiple mediums and one of these factors is called an “eraser event.” These events have to do with the way our minds compartmentalize information, and clear things out of consciousness. Researcher Gabriel Radvansky suggests that people often forget what they were going to do when walking from one room to another. Entering the new room acts as an eraser event and many people forget about decisions they made in the first room.

Viewing a YouTube ad after seeing the same campaign on television likely causes details to resurface that may have initially been forgotten, or stored away deep in our minds. Seeing the ads in two different formats likely minimizes the effects of eraser events, and thus causes the increase in brand recall.

Implicit and explicit memory, combined with pattern recognition also must be taken into consideration when examining brand recall. Seeing related ads in a different format will likely trigger pattern recognition, giving the viewer a sense of pleasure when he or she recognizes the connection between the two ads. This may be enough to move the advertisement from the viewer’s implicit memory (information deep in our minds) to explicit memory, which can be accessed at will.

YouTube can be a great medium for expanding upon television advertising campaigns. Due to the much lower price point, online video advertising may be a great chance to explain the finer details of a product or service, that were not touched on during a television spot. Online video advertising also offers an opportunity for testing ad concepts, before committing a large portion of your budget to a poor performing television advertisement.

Regardless of how you use them, online video ads offer a great way to improve brand recall for your campaigns. Combining the flexibility of video ads, with the tracking ability of online marketing offers endless opportunity for optimizing your advertising efforts.


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