Can a branding campaign without TV ads be successful?

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing

Digital or TV? What brings a bigger benefit to brands?

Everyone has their arguments, but I’ve yet to hear of someone trying to execute a digital campaign with the length and budget that’s standard for a TV campaign……

Maybe it depends on the industry, maybe it depends on seasonality, maybe on the demographic, but it’s all just a “maybe” until a direct comparison is made. Unfortunately, we also couldn’t persuade our clients into conducting that experiment so we tried to get as close to that as we could.

Here are some discoveries from our research…


If we know the following:

  • A majority of the audience that has purchasing power owns a smartphone
  • A majority of the audience that owns a smartphone has a proclivity for multiscreening (using multiple devices simultaneously)
  • A majority of the audience has a Facebook profile

Could we measure how much of an effect does TV advertisement have on “brand recall”    (brand recall = the percentage of people that remember a brand 48 hours after being exposed to an ad). We conducted the following experiment:

A branding campaign in which:

  • TV advertising only was active for 10 days
  • Both TV and Facebook advertising were active for 10 days (identical video content on both channels)
  • Facebook advertising only for 10 days
    The results of this experiment showed that TV advertising didn’t affect brand recall  among Facebook users.

    At the same time, we tracked whether Google searches for the brand would increase, but Google also didn’t show an effect of TV advertising. Yes, this is just one campaign, just one brand, just one industry and multiple experiments would surely be necessary , but these results also provide reason enough for a thorough analysis of the influence of an individual channel of communication.But this is not the only experiment we have conducted in the past year…CAN A DIGITAL BRANDING CAMPAIGN BOOST SALES?In the middle of last year we conducted an experiment for the company JUB and their brand Jupol. One of the key traits of Jupol colours is that they can be applied on various surfaces so we communicated that benefit with a series of digital ads in a different way. The main punchline was that “Jupol covers everything.”

The campaign had a 10 times smaller budget than a standard TV campaign, the product was not discounted and there was no special activity in trade marketing.
Despite all of this, the campaign brought an 18 percent surge in sales compared to the same period a year before when TV, radio and print were all active.

I believe that there are examples of excellent TV campaigns which yielded fantastic results. Therefore, before making a final judgement regarding which channel currently brings the biggest ROI, a testing of both channels with an identical budget would be in order.