Digital Gives Cross-Platform Campaigns 16% More Reach

Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings show TV still the major driver of impressions
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Advertising campaigns that combined digital advertising with traditional TV on average generate 16% additional incremental reach, according to Nielsen’s recently upgraded Total Ad Ratings system.

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With more viewing happening on digital devices, networks and advertisers are looking for better data on deduplicated audiences. To deduplicate, data must be comparable so viewers who see ads on both TV and digital are not counted twice. Networks need the data because if impressions on digital platforms can't be counted and optimized, they can’t sell them.

Nielsen, offering a first look at data from its enhanced Total Ad Ratings, said its analysis found that TV continues to be the major driver of reach in cross-platform campaigns, with TV spots generating eight times as many impressions as digital video ads.

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With cord cutting growing, more people are using connected TV to watch programming. Nielsen said CTV accounted for a 3% lift to viewership of ads on top of those seen on linear TV, computers and mobile devices.

Younger viewers are more likely to see the digital part of ad campaigns. When cross-platform campaigns targeted 18-49 year olds, Nielsen found they reached 59% of the hard-to-reach 18-34 year olds and that 12% of people between 18 to 34 were exposed solely to the digital components of the campaign. In those campaigns, TV alone reached 62% of viewers 50 years and older, 48% of viewers 35-49 and 41% of viewers 13-17 but just 28% of viewers 18-34.

In order to best allocate their marketing dollars, advertisers have been demanding better measurement of cross platform campaigns, but counting all viewers and then figuring out the unduplicated reach of those campaigns has been a longer process than the industry expected.

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Last week, Comscore said that CNN was the first TV network to offer its Comscore Campaign Ratings to its advertising clients. Comscore Campaign Ratings have been in beta testing with programmers including A+E Networks, AMC Networks and satellite company Dish Network since last September.

Nielsen launched total ad ratings in 2012 using TV data from its National TV Panel with digital data from Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings. Total Ad Ratings are used by NBCUniversal to calculate its C-Flight multi-platform metric and underpins the measurement system used by Unilever and Facebook.

The measurement company announced that its Total Ad Ratings would include mobile and over-the-top audiences in January. The service is designed to provide media buyers and sellers with comprehensive measurement across all platforms.

The addition of mobile audiences includes YouTube.

At the same time, Nielsen said Total Ad Ratings would include over the top audiences from its Digital Ad Ratings service.

Nielsen said that Total Ad Ratings combines viewers on television, smartphones, tablet and computers and uses its National Panel and Digital Ad ratings to provide deduplicated audience measurement and an accurate picture of campaign reach.

Under pressure from shareholders, Nielsen is in the middle of a strategic review that could lead to the sale of some or all of the company’s businesses.

Nielsen last week announced that in the fourth quarter it lost $952 million.

Also on Thursday, Comscore reported a net loss of $27.2 million, or 46 cents a share, for the quarter, compared to a $71.9 million, or $1.25 a share, loss a year ago.

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