Online Video Ads More Effective Than TV Among U.S. Viewers

Video ads placed in full-episode TV programs streamed online deliver better results for advertisers than corresponding broadcast TV ads, according to studies conducted by Nielsen.

The research company conducted over 14,000 surveys evaluating 238 brands, 412 products, and 951 ad executions, and collected data on general recall, brand recall, message recall, and likeability. The results suggest that for each metric, consumers reacted better to ads delivered via online video than they did through traditional TV.

Nielsen says the increased impact could be attributed to the nature of the viewing experiences offered between the two platforms, with online video viewers often more “engaged and attentive” to the content they are consuming.


Contrary to many reports, the research also found that repurposed TV ads actually outperformed bespoke online ad creative across all four of the metrics. This suggests advertisers are better off using what assets they’ve already created for a broadcast TV audience, as opposed to reinvesting in dedicated digital creative.

In-Stream Ad Performance by Creative Type
Creative Type General Recall (%) Brand Linkage (%) Message Linkage (%) Likeability Linkage (%)
Repurposed TV Ads 66 76 80 55
Web Original Video Ads 58 72 72 48
Flash Animation/Interactive 47 78 68 46
Source: The Nielsen Company

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