Is Facebook advertising poised to overtake television advertising?

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Following a recent cross-media channel campaign, Nestle attributed 11% of KitKat’s sales to its Facebook ads. Is this a one-off situation or are we increasingly now going to see Facebook advertising trump television advertising?

Statistics suggest that the amount of time the average person now spends on Facebook exceeds the amount of time he/she spends watching television. This would imply that the opportunity for seeing advertisements on Facebook is potentially larger than it is on television. This especially holds true today, in the age of digital television, when commercials can be very easily skipped by users, who simply fast-forward them.

Another important fact is pointed out by Adam Berke, president of retargeting firm and FBX partner AdRoll, who say that News Feed ads are basically bought on a per-insertion basis. That is, if a user sees a News Feed ad when checking Facebook on their work computer and then the same ad again when checking Facebook on their home computer, the advertiser only pays for the initial impression, no matter how many times the same user sees it. This is significant, because costs involved in television advertising are very high, as each repeat airing of a TV commercial costs as much as the first. Moreover, there are length constraints in television advertisements, they are short and do not convey much about the product.

A further advantage of Facebook advertising is the ability to reach smart-phone users.

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Nutella is employing the decades-old marketing mix model (MMM) – a nuanced sales attribution system for integrated campaigns – to measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads. They combined Facebook ads with TV spots and other paid channels in Germany during December 2011, attributing 15 percent of sales from the yuletide campaign to its Facebook ads. In terms of RoI, the brand told ClickZ that Facebook ads outperformed the TV spend, according to its MMM data.

Socially multiplied advertising, the core of which is contagious brand-owned content on social platforms, is roughly 100 times more cost-efficient for brand advertising than primetime TV on a cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) basis. – Kirk Cheyfitz, Wallblog, UK

One key piece of research that must not be ignored is the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising survey. The survey’s 2012 edition revealed that 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations of friends and family when making purchase decisions and 70% trust recommendations from strangers online. The same survey showed that, at most, only 47% of consumers trust traditional ads—TV, newspaper and magazines. Trust in such traditional ads has gone down the slope in the past three years, according to Nielsen.

Considering human psychology, Nielsen’s data suggests that having a friend or stranger deliver a brand message online through social media is 1.5 to 2 times more likely to influence behavior than delivering the same message in a TV ad.

Do you agree that Facebook advertising is the way to go in the current market? Share your thoughts with us.


Digitrock is a Gurgaon based digital marketing agency. One of the best SEO company in Gurgaon & Mumbai helps in increasing profitability of all our clients and our mission is to contribute to the economic GROWTH of India.

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