Google is once again directly targeting TV advertising budgets by saying YouTube ads generate a better return on investment than TV commercials most of the time.
The company conducted a meta-analysis of 56 case studies from brands within six different types of industries, across eight countries in Europe between 2013 and 2016, as well as its own research.
Google concluded, in the study published Wednesday to coincide with Advertising Week Europe in London, that at current spend levels, “YouTube delivers a higher return on investment than TV in 77% of studies.”
The studies were carried out by research companies including Kantar Worldpanel, GfK, Data2Decisions, and BrandScience. Google says it compared three different methodologies to come to its findings.
In 17 of the case studies looked at during the study (so not the majority) Google said: “In more than 80% of media mix optimizations we studied, data showed that the recommended spend on YouTube should be at least double that of current levels.”
Google says this isn’t a war between YouTube and TV – its just trying to help marketers know how much to spend there
The release of this study isn’t the first time YouTube has publicly appealed for marketers’ TV budgets – which is where they place the bulk of their advertising spend. EMarketer predicted last year YouTube’s net ad revenues worldwide would reach $4.28 billion in 2015. In the same year, it estimated global TV spend would reach $68.88 billion.
Last October, Google told advertisers that if they want to reach young audiences, they should be shifting 24% of their TV budgets over to YouTube.
We asked Google’s EMEA director of brand solutions Debbie Weinstein why TV is so often the focus of YouTube’s appeals to advertisers, rather than other media that is less effective. It feels like there’s a war going on, we said.
She responded that it’s more about giving marketers guidance about the best way to allocate a percentage of their budget to YouTube as part of their overall media mix.
“I don’t think it’s a war I do think it’s about answering customers’ questions which is how should I be spending my media dollars with all the advancements that have been happening in the media space. I think it’s particularly been moving on video because everyone has known for decades that video is the most powerful form of storytelling and so we have video and you can sort of take your video asset and run it in a variety of places. I think that’s why the comparisons are often made between YouTube versus the other places you can be placing your video assets.”
YouTube’s study is at odds with previous research that suggests TV is the advertising medium that provides the best return on investment.
Meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Ebiquity and commissioned by UK TV marketing body Thinkbox in 2014 found that for every £1 spent on advertising, TV is “the best profit generator.”