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As a design and marketing agency, clients approach us all the time wondering how to drive website traffic. We put our clients on the digital map with a wide variety of cross-channel marketing strategies. Design and marketing is our speciality – and we couldn’t help but share an interesting new study linking TV advertising to website traffic. It’s yesterday’s news for two reasons one, because it just happened and two, because it’s practically outdated already.

Applebee’s. PNC. Target. Victoria’s Secret. Tune in to your favourite prime time television show and you’re bound to stumble upon any one of these brands. Each of these brands represents one of the six main categories recently studied by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) to connect website traffic with TV ad spending.

Introducing the Study

The bureau compared web traffic to TV ads for 125 brands with more than 100,000 unique visitors per month – including restaurants, retail, travel, mobile apps, financial and insurance companies. Together, these call-to-action brands represent more than $30 billion in annual TV advertising. The findings of the study are nothing short of fascinating.

How many brands showed a direct correlation between website traffic and TV ad spending? A total of 82 percent. Why? Because TV is the great activator in Internet commerce, says Sean Cunningham, President & CEO of the VAB.

A digital expert, Cunningham coins TV advertising as more than just a tool to generate awareness. At its core, television advertising drives consumers to the brand’s storefront – the Internet. Basically, consumers catch the TV commercial – and turn to the web.

Crunching the Numbers

Whether brands experienced an increase or decrease in website traffic, the study showed a direct correlation to TV ad spending. For the 85 brands with an increase in unique website visitors, 87 percent had also increased TV ad spending. Among the 40 brands with a decline in unique visitors, 70 percent had also lowered TV ad spending.


Researchers also examined the average increase or decrease in website traffic and TV spending. The 22 percent average increase in TV spending matched a 24 percent increase in website visitors. By the same token, the 10 percent average decrease in TV spending mirrored the 9 percent decrease in website visitors. Either way, there’s a predominant and consistent pattern among website traffic and TV advertising.

Researchers also explored website traffic and TV spending on a category level. Interestingly, restaurants and travel brands showed the weakest positive correlation, while telecom and mobile apps showed the strongest. Consider the percentages among the six main categories:

  • 72 percent of travel brands
  • 76 percent of restaurants
  • 82 percent of retail stores
  • 85 percent of insurance companies
  • 86 percent of financial institutions
  • 100 percent of telecom and mobile apps

What About Digital?

It’s safe to say most call-to-action brands can expect website traffic to curve alongside TV ad spending. The story may be the same for businesses large and small on a national, regional and local level. But the study fails to mention any increase or decrease in spending for other forms of media – digital, social, or out-of-home.

TV is Good. Digital is Better.

Television advertising may closely link to website traffic – but what about the small businesses without the budget to broadcast on TV? Well, despite the statistics on TV ad spend, a staggering 72% of agencies say online video ads are as effective – or more effective – than TV ads. At Da-manager, we happen to agree. We believe the web is the place for your business and brand to not just live – but grow. Besides, do you really want to invest in TV advertising when digital is expected to overtake TV ad spending in two years?

Da-Manager is a creative Web Design and Digital agency born with the desire to help you get the most from your online presence.The Digital world is the perfect place for your business and Brand. Contact us today  at Da-manager

This article was originally published in 12 September 2016. It was most recently updated in November 28, 2022 by

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