Study: Online-Offline Combo Most Effective

NEW YORK — Online advertising in combination with offline significantly increased the product image of McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Flatbread Sandwich over offline advertising only, according to a recent study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The Cross Media Optimization Study, conducted by Rex Briggs of Marketing Evolution, Dynamic Logic and Forrester Research, examined online media’s place in the overall marketing mix for the fast-food marketer’s new product.

The study found that four product attributes—new, exciting, different and combination of great flavors—were most greatly impacted by online advertising among 15- to 24-year-olds. When combined with TV and radio advertising, positive perceptions of the product went up further.

The campaign, targeted at 18- to 49-year-olds in the U.S., aimed to increase awareness for the product’s attributes and drive purchase intent. The study of Internet users quantified the effect of online advertising relative to offline and analyzed if online could improve the brand metrics.

Findings indicated that branding metrics could potentially rise when online advertising’s share of the overall campaign budget is increased via reallocation of dollars. When McDonald’s uses TV and radio advertising, for instance, the branding lift over pre-campaign levels is 187 percent. However, if the percentage of online advertising was increased to 13 percent of the same budget, the projected lift is 232 percent, the research found.

“The media environment is increasingly fragmented,” said Neil Perry, senior director, Internet marketing. “The study has confirmed for us that the Internet can provide us with an excellent way of reaching out to important consumer segments, particularly the 18-24-year-old demo.”