How do you measure the impact of a TV advert?

Regularly described as an impossible task, the concept of measuring the impact of a TV advert can be daunting to many. However, there’s always a way to get feedback from those who see your ad – it just depends on how committed you are to its success! Here are three factors we think are great starting points for getting that all-important strong start to a campaign, whether you’re a seasoned advertiser or a rookie.


Statistician and former Google employee Rob Moffat wrote an interesting piece for Medium last year to explain his “8+8+8” rule. He explained that if a “direct call to action” is in place in a TV ad, there’ll be a direct spike in the number of visits to your website. He recommends advertisers to divide time into three “buckets”:

  • Phase one: The eight-minute period before the advert is broadcast.
  • Phase two: The eight minutes commencing at the start of the advert.
  • Phase three: The eight minutes after phase two.


From here, Moffat says to monitor your own key performance indicators, whether that’s sales, downloads or general enquiries. Average the interest shown in phases one and three to give a “baseline organic traffic level”, while the phase two spike will show direct impact of the ad.

He does caution companies, though, who rely on this alone, as measuring success “purely on the interaction and sales made whilst it is on the air” would force you to quickly conclude that “television advertising is far too expensive”. He requests that people need to factor in longer-term effects such as those taking longer to react to an ad, brand familiarity improving onsite conversion (using the example “I can trust this company, I’ve seen it on TV”), and retargeting efforts as a result of feedback.


Second screen feedback

Something Moffat also touches on is the integration of Shazam into ads (such as in the “Striking Angles” Lexus ad) to get “second screen users”. This tandem engagement through TV and a phone, tablet or laptop allows you to see how many people are using the platform to access more information (though on the presumption they can get to their phones in time). We’re sure this kind of cross-platform interactivity will only grow, as is At Internet, which blogged about the topic last summer.

It pointed to a recent survey that noted how 75% of people in a recent huge survey professed to using mobile devices at the same time as watching TV, meaning “strong repercussions on marketing”. Captivating the audience, should you have the right timeslot and tech team on hand, might be pretty easy to do in a new and exciting way. Stada Group’s own recommendations include:

  • Offering a discount code for viewers of the ad, which they can use for a limited time – even for just that night or week;
  • Asking people to use a hashtag on Twitter, and having a deal running through the site to offer them a random discount;
  • Tying a product into a certain timeslot (e.g. a football shirt during a football match).

Naturally, those who you want to engage with – because they’re actively engaging with you – will be reaching out directly to you.


TV ad tracking services

Companies such as wywy offer dedicated services that are a little simpler to understand than you may realise, and can form a great base to work from if you’re planning on a much larger-scale campaign. It’s also pretty simple in its ethos: “Do what you do best, outsource the rest. TV campaign tracking most likely isn’t your core competence, so why waste precious resources on it?”

It’s always worth looking into the types of data these companies can offer, especially if it’s real-time (unless you really do want to do it as a shot in the dark, and you don’t have the resources for an immediate review). Ensure you always stay on the lookout for companies like this (such as Nielsen and Realytics), as they could be the lifeline you really need.

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