May 26, 2021

Industry execs explain why advertising via the TV screen is still the most successful way to reach consumers.

As devices get smaller, the power of the larger TV device—or TV glass—still remains the most successful way for advertisers to reach their intended audience. According to a 2021 study on “The Power of TV” carried out by ViacomCBS’ Ad Sales Research & Insights team, advertising on TV outperforms ads on social media: twice as many people accept ads on TV vs. Instagram or Facebook.


Danielle DeLauro, EVP of the Video Advertising Bureau [VAB], says her organization has seen 75% of premium ads viewed on a large screen.


“When viewers watch on the TV glass, they’re more engaged. They’re more immersed in the content,” DeLauro says. “TV is still the center place of a home. Of all the options out there to watch digital video, whether it’s mobile, on a computer or desktop, CTV [connected tv] has really taken off.”

Sarah Sarah

"TV is the most trusted place for advertising."

Sarah Dell'Aquila Real

Senior director, ad sales research & insights, ViacomCBS

A trusted medium


Television and advertising have gone hand-in-hand for decades. TV is where consumers expect ads, and welcome them, according to Sarah Dell’Aquila Real, senior director, ad sales research & insights, ViacomCBS.

“Many generations see the TV screen as a place you can trust. People think ‘Oh, I saw this ad on TV. That means they’re a good company.’ People have that inherent trust toward TV, compared to user-generated content juxtaposed with an ad on YouTube.”

In Dell’Aquila Real’s team’s 2021 study—which has been carried out yearly out since 2016—those surveyed said ads on TV are “a natural part of the experience.” And 67% said ads on TV are better quality than ads online, while 66% shared that ads on TV are from more reputable brands than ads online.

“Part of that trust relates to the fact that there are regulations around TV and what advertising is allowed on TV,” explains Mike Dean, SVP, advanced advertising, addressable, and ad sales research & insights, ViacomCBS. “Also it’s expensive for advertisers, but appropriately so, because we reach a huge audience. That naturally sets a filter in terms of who’s going to participate in the TV marketplace.”

Mike Dean Mike Dean

"TV doesn't just play that one role of awareness and brand building. It could play every role in the marketing funnel, all the way down to conversion."

Mike Dean

SVP, advanced advertising, addressable, and ad sales research & insights, ViacomCBS

The funnel effect


In ViacomCBS’ “Power of TV Study,” results showed that TV is second only to Google as a source of information on products. It’s also second only to family and friends when it comes to making people feel good about their purchases.

Delauro says that television is key in reaching consumers at all parts of the funnel. “There’s a misperception that television is only good at driving awareness, but television actually does work down the full funnel,” says Delauro. “It helps you down to the consideration level. In the middle part of that funnel, where a consumer is deciding between two different products, TV allows you to differentiate yourself. And at the bottom of that funnel, when you get towards the sales, TV drives people to the brand’s website to make a purchase.”

VAB has considerable research, adds Delauro, that shows a brand’s website traffic—and revenue—goes up once that brand advertises on television.


Danielle Delauro Danielle Delauro

"There is a direct correlation between advertising on television and a company’s revenue and profitability."

Danielle Delauro

EVP, Video Advertising Bureau

Digital via traditional


About 10 years ago, viewers consumed digital video solely on a desktop or laptop, and later on a mobile device or tablet.

Over the past few years, however, people are consuming all their digital content on a much larger screen: TV. ViacomCBS EyeQ, the company’s integrated product suite of video streaming and creative ad solutions for brands, reaches 80% of its viewers on TV glass, in an environment where high-quality creative is expected.

“Advertisers have invested hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in creating this creative, and it is best consumed on a 40, 60, 70-inch television,” adds Dean. “Seeing ads on the TV glass is about both the size and the scale.”

Even direct-to-consumer [DTC] brands prominent on digital are turning to the big screen, according to Delauro.

As screens big and small populate consumers’ homes and lives, it’s still evident that the biggest screen possible is where the ad money continues to flow, according to several executives in the space.

“Once DTC brands go into TV, they immediately start investing more, and they see that their ROI is the best of every channel that they've had,” says Delauro. “Almost every DTC founder that we've spoken to says that television is the best-performing channel of anything in their media mix.”

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