Gone are the days of single-screen television advertising. Three out of every five Australians now surf the web while watching TV, making ads on YouTube more important than ever. TV remains a leader in driving the reach of advertising, but by adding YouTube campaigns, agencies significantly broaden their incremental reach. Google looked at 13 Australian advertising campaigns to capture data on how ads performed on television, on YouTube, and when mixed. YouTube reached more light TV viewers than medium or heavy TV viewers, making it a cost-effective way to reach television viewers who might miss out on the first run.

February 2014


The multi-screen media landscape: A challenge for advertisers

The way we consume media has changed, and is continually changing. With the emergence of second screens, such as smartphones and tablets, media consumption is no longer dominated by TV. And when we watch TV, it no longer commands our undivided attention: 74% of online Australians now use the internet at the same time as watching TV.1 The challenge falls to advertisers to work out how to run successful advertising campaigns in this multi-screen media landscape.

What role can YouTube play?

YouTube is perfectly situated to reach consumers in a multi-screen environment. In fact, 40% of watch time on YouTube now comes from a mobile device (smartphones or tablets).2 But it's not always clear what role YouTube should play in a marketing plan. Particularly when that plan involves YouTube working alongside TV advertising.

Keen to help advertisers better understand the role that YouTube should play, Google commissioned research3 into 13 Australian advertising campaigns. These campaigns spanned a wide range of target audiences, brands and categories, including automotive, travel, financial services, telecommunications, and consumer packaged goods, but all included both TV and YouTube activity.

Including YouTube in a marketing plan with TV broadens reach

Across the 13 campaigns, TV was, unsurprisingly, the key driver of reach. But YouTube consistently delivered significant incremental reach.

TV activity reached an average of 75% of the target audience. Adding YouTube into the mix boosted reach by an additional 5% on average. Even when delivered on top of large-scale TV campaigns that reached 85–90% of the target audience.

YouTube is particularly successful at reaching light TV viewers

More affluent than medium or heavy TV viewers (one in three earn over $100K p.a.), light TV viewers4 are a highly desirable target audience for any brand. As TV's dominance continues to wane, this segment will grow in size and become even more important to reach.

YouTube is especially adept at tapping into this lucrative audience. Across almost all of the test campaigns, YouTube's reach was higher among those watching less TV, and the majority of YouTube's incremental reach came from this segment.

YouTube extends reach in a cost-effective way

YouTube offers significant cost savings compared to TV advertising. Take one of the automotive campaigns as an example. To achieve the same overall campaign reach using TV alone, would have required more than four times as many additional Target Audience Rating Points (TARPS) as those used on YouTube.

By including YouTube in the mix with TV, this automotive campaign, like many of the other campaigns tested, managed to reach more people, in a more cost-effective way.

YouTube should be a permanent part of the marketing mix

In summary, the research found that including YouTube in a marketing plan alongside TV offers advertisers three key benefits:

  • YouTube broadens campaign reach
  • YouTube is ideally placed to reach light TV viewers
  • YouTube extends reach cost effectively

1 Australian Connected Consumers Report, Nielsen, 2013.
2 Nielsen NetView, June 2013.
3 Research conducted with Millward Brown, TNS Australia, and Symphony Insight.
4 Light TV viewers are defined by Nielsen as those claiming to watch less than eight hours of commercial TV per week. They account for 34% of Australians (c. 7.6m). Source: 2012 S08 Metro NOL 4-way, Google.