Google has claimed that YouTube ads are driving sales more effectively than traditional television ads.
According to a recent Guardian article, Google’s European Executive Matt Brittin has published a report showing that in 80% of the cases analysed across eight countries, YouTube ads were seen to be much more effective in generating sales than those appearing on television.
The full report, titled The (Entertainment) Revolution Will Not Be Televised, was unveiled at the Advertising Week Europe Festival on 20 April. Carried out by Google’s research partners, it consists of 56 different case studies and concludes that advertisers should be spending up to six times more of their budget on YouTube-based advertising than they currently are. The report also supports research indicating that online videos bring a 50% higher return on investment than television ads.
Speaking about the findings, General Manager EMEA at MarketShare Lucien Van der Hoeven, said: “We found that, while TV maintains a powerful impact in the digital age, digital video is under-invested in several categories we measured in the UK, France and Germany.”
“A huge opportunity exists for marketers to drive offline sales more efficiently by optimising their media mix,” added Google, stating that their research shows that the return of investment for YouTube campaigns is higher than that of television when measured at current spend levels.
The response from many in the television industry is filled with hesitance. Thinkbox, the main marketing body for commercial television in the UK, responded critically to the report, with the company’s research and planning director Matt Hill claiming that the true value of television advertising is not just its return on investment, but that it achieves the best return on investment at the highest levels of investment.
“TV builds brands better than anything else and creates the most profit,” Hill added, going on to claim that increasing spend on YouTube advertisements would backfire significantly due to the fact that brands would be associated with “lower-quality content”. As YouTube is generally lower-value, user-generated content, Hill claimed it does not hold the same credibility that is associated with higher production media content, like various entertainment and drama programmes that are broadcast on mainstream television.
In 2015, YouTube suggested brands should be spending 24% of their budgets on the site in order to reach the 16-to-24 demographic, a move that didn’t sit well with some UK broadcasters. Thinkbox responded with its own research – based on independent data – showing that YouTube’s ad reach across television was only 1.4%.
Despite criticisms from UK broadcasting companies, YouTube continues to attract advertisers and companies daily.