Is there really a difference between TV ads and online video ads? If you ask consumers, the answer is a resounding yes: 63% of consumers say they trust the ads they see on television, whereas just 48% say they trust video ads they see online, according to a Nielsen survey.
Online ads are annoying because they interrupt what the consumer is trying to accomplish. Television commercials aren't perfect, but people accept them because they're already sitting in front of a television passively consuming entertainment.
Even if the content of an online video is the same as that of a TV commercial, customers will react more positively to the televised advertisement.
Why TV Is Still Relevant
Some companies presume television ads are no longer worth the investment, but that simply isn't the case. Although online ads serve their purpose, there are important reasons for marketers to stay on the airwaves.
First, television allows you to reach more people for a lower price per person. Although commercials are not as targeted as online ads, they manage to get the message across to consumers without breaking the bank: Television ads remain the most effective advertising medium, according to a 2014 MarketShare study.
What's more, TV ads require less from consumers. Online ads often request some sort of engagement, usually in the form of a click or a form to fill out, and they wrestle for attention with the rest of the content on the page. Whereas online requires consumers to "lean forward" to engage, television asks consumers to do nothing but "lean back" and devote their relaxed attention to the screen. Consumers aren't avoiding TV ads, either: Television viewers typically consume 73 minutes of TV commercials per day, Nielsen says.
Waiting 30 seconds for a YouTube video to load while an ad plays can seem like an eternity — much longer than the interval between one part of a television program and the next feels when viewers are eager to see a show's outcome. Because people are generally more willing to spend time consuming an ad on television, the odds that they will try out or purchase the advertised product increase by 16 percentage points.