In a somewhat controversial move, Google has criticised the effectiveness of television ads and called on advertisers to significantly increase the amount they spend on YouTube.

Google EMEA president, Matt Brittin presented the research report ‘The (Entertainment) Revolution will not be televised’ at Adweek Europe last week in London. The report claimed that advertising on YouTube delivered a 50% higher ROI than television in nearly 80% of cases that were studied across eight countries.

In releasing such a document, Google have opened the debate about the significance of leaning towards a new age of advertising, however Thinkbox director Matt Hill has voiced his concern that this YouTube analysis “misses the point” of TV advertising.

“The true value of TV advertising is not just its ROI, but that it achieves the best return on investment at the highest levels of investment. TV builds brands better than anything else and creates the most profit”.

The advertising industry acknowledges the importance of YouTube advertising, however whilst the integration is agreed upon, the optimum proportion of a client’s budget that should be invested in YouTube has caused much debate.

In October, Eileen Naughton, Google’s managing director of UK and Ireland operations told brands that targeted 16-24 year olds that they should spend 24% of their TV advertising budget on YouTube. However, through their own research Thinkbox claimed YouTube only accounts for 10.3% of time spent by 16-24 year olds consuming video.

The general consensus is this; rather than being seen as a direct competitor to television advertising, YouTube compliments TV advertising playing the role as Robin (not the Joker) to TV’s Batman.

Tess Alps, the chair of Thinkbox reiterates this, as she noted that YouTube “is an invaluable part of the TV landscape and our shareholders use it for many different purposes: to promote their programmes, feed their desire to see programme clips and TV ads again”.

Both YouTube and TV platforms have their own strengths, and it is dependent on the content of the advertisement as well as the target audience that will determine the optimum mix when delivering the most effective campaigns. With longer TV advertising slots becoming expensive, brands often provide smaller spots on TV that drive the viewer to longer content digitally, for example Trainline’s current television campaign using QR codes to drive sales on the website.

The debate will not end between influences to television advertising and the rise of other emerging platforms, but for now this superhero is yet to find its own kryptonite that will plot its downfall.

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