TV Ads Lead Way on Advertising-Generated Profit

Advertisers may well be looking at their advertising mix after a new report measuring return on investment (ROI) across different media.

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Commercial TV’s marketing arm, Thinkbox, has produced startling figures comparing TV advertising ROI with its cross-media rivals, including print and digital. The analysis dates back over the last three years and draws the information from 2,000 campaigns.

The report was published just a week before media mogul Rupert Murdoch bemoaned the performance of the print section of his media holdings. Speaking at the News Corp AGM, the tycoon ruled out any further newspaper purchases, saying it was difficult to maintain profitability in print.

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The Thinkbox research shows the return to companies’ bottom line for a £1 spend. TV advertising showed a £4.20 profit. This represented 71% of profit generated from advertising across all platforms.

Although print performed better than other media, it still lagged well behind.

Traditionally, print offers more flexibility, but the introduction of catch-up TV may be the driver of the TV campaigns’ success.

In South Wales, Freeview has the Kilvey Hill transmitter serving 120,000 homes. TV aerial installation in Swansea such as that provided by means more homes have access to digital channels.

Marketing executives are taking advantage multi-media analysis such as that published by Thinkbox to make decisions on spending spread. In particular, more companies are looking at cross-market campaigns tying digital strategies with more traditional direct-response campaigns in TV and print.


TV advertising has always been the go-to medium to send out a high-impact message combining video and audio. In the past choosing this medium has depended on what the company is marketing. Are video images crucial to explaining the value of the offer to potential customers? The Thinkbox research now offers a different economic argument to the mix.

The cost of TV advertising has always been much greater than print. It has also never had the flexibility of print, where advertisers can choose a niche publication which suits them or choose the size of their ad to suit their marketing and financial needs.

In the past the ROI of different media has been the subject of great debate between marketing specialists. The Thinkbox report has made the numbers much clearer, and companies and their advisers will be looking more closely how they spend their advertising budgets.

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