Advanced Ad 2018: Attribution Data Points to TV Ads Driving More Sales

‘TV is undervalued,’ says Data + Math head
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New York -- TV advertising works, and marketers should buy more of it, according to an executive at a company specializing in attribution measurement.

John Hoctor, founder and CEO of Data + Math, speaking at the Advanced Advertising conference in New York Monday, said, “TV drives results across verticals and across outcome measures.”

Read More:Complete Coverage of the Advanced Advertising Event

Data + Math is conducting attribution studies with several programmers, including Discovery, AMC Networks, Fox News Channel and A+E Networks. Data + Math’s platform was previously referred to as “Project Thor,” but that name was changed for copyright reasons.

With quick-serve restaurants, TV was responsible for sales increases of 5% to 12% for big box retailers, 19% to 24% for autos, and 15% to 32% for online retailers.

"We’ve done the math for TV," Hoctor said. "TV is massively under-credited. TV is undervalued."

Hoctor said his data also cast new light on the rules of thumb for how frequently a consumer should see a marketer's commercial. Instead of effectiveness fading after three views, Data + Math found that the fourth and fifth exposures also lifted sales.

"You don’t just have to be on TV,' Hoctor said. "You have to be on TV a lot."

Data + Math’s analysis is also helping marketers pinpoint which days and which dayparts are resulting in the most sales. It is also measuring how creative impacts campaigns, he said.

Hoctor said his company’s attribution data can help TV ad sellers at a time when digital competitors like Facebook and Google are increasing their ad revenue.

“We must embrace data; our competitors are,” Hoctor said.

Also presenting some data was Sean Cunningham, CEO of the Video Advertising Bureau.

The VAB has looked at new “disruptor” companies that have broken into categories and then grown after deciding to invest in TV advertising. Those companies include Peleton,, Wayfair, Sonos, Duluth Trading, SoFi, Zillow and Audible.

When those companies increased TV advertising, they saw their productive leads increase via their websites, and web traffic increased.

“After making those big bets, productive leads into their sites exploded almost overnight,” Cunningham said.

More importantly, those companies’ revenue increased by four times, with some of them going from millions in revenue to billions.

Cunningham noted that many of those companies are data driven, and if TV didn’t work, they wouldn’t spend, he said.

Even for bigger companies, “TV works like a light switch,” he said, with sales lighting up after the advertising is turned on.