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Study: TV Ads More Effective Than Ever

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NEW YORK There has been no shortage of articles questioning the effectiveness of TV ads in the digital age. And more than one expert has proclaimed: "the 30-second spot is dead." However, a massive study conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation begs to differ.

An analysis of 388 case histories from seven different research agencies found that TV is not only as effective as ever, it is possibly even increasing in effectiveness when it comes to building sales.

"Marketers need to be more confident in the fact that there are different ways that their brand messages add value to people's lives. [TV ads] help simplify the [buying] decision. As people's lives become more complicated, there is great value to that, said Joel Rubinson, ARF's chief research officer. "They want to zone out and watch TV and relax and let the communications wash over them. It's an extension of the brand experience."

Data from Point Logic, for example, found that among 25 touch points measured between 2004 and 2007, TV moved from seventh to fourth in terms of people impacted per $1,000 spent.

TV was No. 1 in terms of raising awareness. ARF also reviewed research from IRI, ARS, PM Group, Dratfield, Marketing Evolution and Millward Brown/Dynamic Logic. The case studies spanned from 1990-2008.

Rubinson said the findings show that "units sold numbers increased as a result of increased TV impressions. [When you see it] across 388 case histories, I think you've got to believe it."