Digital and TV battle it out in sports advertising

With the Asian Games having just closed a few days ago and the Hong Kong Open golf championships coming up, the battle between digital and TV for brand awareness and perception during major sports events is on.

The Nielsen World Cup Viewership and Purchase Behaviour study surveyed just over 1,000 Internet users in Hong Kong between 14 and 20 July about their purchasing decisions in commodity categories such as food and snacks, beverages, personal care and restaurants during this year's World Cup season.

The study aimed to investigate the performance of branding and advertising campaigns and whether their messages effectively reached consumers.

47% of the respondents said their perception of brands improved during World Cup after seeing online ads whereas only 31% of respondents experienced improved brand perception after watching TV commercials.

Almost 80% of respondents discussed World Cup ads placed by brands with friends on social media.

"Going online is a natural and instinctive behaviour for consumers nowadays.  It is now part of their social and private spaces," Aj Dabydin, director of FMCG industry practice group at Nielsen Hong Kong, said.

"Brands that advertised online are perceived more favourably because they are part of people's private spaces.  This reflects better on the brand because they seem to understand these individuals."

But TV is not falling behind entirely.  It was the platform that garnered awareness among the most respondents (85%), followed by magazines (30%) and out-of-home advertising platforms (29%).

After becoming more aware of brands through ads, 41% of the respondents said they would spend more as a result of the ads.

“From a sales activation perspective, many World Cup adverts did not stimulate local consumers’ desire to spend more on apparel or food and beverages mainly due to the timing of the matches on weekdays,” said Eva Leung, managing director of Nielsen Hong Kong and Macau.

Many of the weekday matches were held in the early mornings, meaning that they were experienced individually rather than socially by groups of consumers, added Dabydin.

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