Digital and TV advertising: The lift is real

By Delia van Staden, Shaun Frazao and Merissa Himraj

With the evolution of consumer viewing habits amplified by Covid-19, integrating digital and TV advertising is crucial now more than ever.

Our dependency on screens is nothing new. For several decades – and increasingly with every passing year – we have relied on some kind of digital device to work, to learn, to be entertained, and to connect to the world. Of course, this digital dependency has increased dramatically since the onset of Covid-19.

Today, we’re more plugged into our digital devices and TVs than ever before. Brands that understand the ways in which various platforms integrate, and use them to market their products successfully, are likely to succeed despite the economic turmoil wrought by the pandemic.

TV and digital in the Covid-19 era

Since March, the TV and digital viewing landscape has changed dramatically. March, April and May 2020 saw 12%, 28% and 11% increases respectively in linear TV viewing compared to the same periods last year, while visits to streaming services soared, also peaking in April.

“Between February and April 2020, Netflix’s website traffic increased by an incredible 120%, Amazon Prime Video by 85% and Showmax by 78%,” says Delia van Staden, the head of analytics and insights at Wavemaker South Africa. “With an entire nation, and most of the world, confined to their homes, consumers were actively seeking entertainment, and TV and digital channels stepped up to the plate.”

As South Africa’s lockdown levels dropped in June, with many people returning to work and school, these trends started to flatten off. “Ongoing fluctuations are likely as schools and various sectors of the economy open and close in line with new regulations,” adds Van Staden.

Despite some flux, the demand for TV and digital content is sure to continue for a long time to come; Covid-19 has only enhanced a demand that was already there. Companies that use these channels effectively by adopting an integrated approach to their advertising are likely to remain relevant during this time. The following four methods demonstrate the benefits of integrating your TV and digital content.

Building incremental reach

Studies that explore best practice in advertising often emphasise the effectiveness of a cross-media approach. “By combining TV and online video, brands are able to deliver incremental reach using similar creative formats,” explains Shaun Frazao, Wavemaker’s head of digital.

Van Staden adds, “At Wavemaker, we plan for and ensure we deliver incremental reach through our proprietary planning tool, CrossMedia, which helps us to measure the reach that various touch-points add to a campaign.”

Below is an example of a TV and online video campaign executed by Wavemaker. By spending R87 000 weekly on online video, incremental campaign reach grew by 4.2% in week one, 5.5% in week two, 5.6% in week three and 5.9% in week four.


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