Convergence presents challenge for evaluating ad effectiveness

How much longer will online content and TV content remain separate?

Thinkbox’s neuroscience study comparing the level of emotion and attention generated by television versus online advertising presents an innovative way for marketers to assess the kinds of reactions their work generates through different channels.

The overall results of the study showed that online ads attracted higher engagement and participation level, but TV was able to invoke deeper emotions – an interesting insight to help marketers shape the direction of the content they produce for their brands.

But TV won’t be static forever – and as the internet and TV merge closer together, presumably these will also merge as advertising channels? As Henrique de Castro, Google vice president for global media and platforms, declared in Cannes last month, TV and internet will fuse in the next two years, meaning it will be the default thing for your TV viewing to run alongside a social media feed or search window.

De Castro’s argument was so convincing that I find it hard not to believe him, as this is the way people are behaving already – tweeting, Facebooking, searching while watching TV, device of choice in hand, or on lap.

And as even more evidence that this connected future is on its way, in the pages of the John Lewis magazine I read this morning, HP is advertising a large touchscreen computer through which people will be able to view video and TV. Like a massive wall mountable iPad, there is no reason for this kind of device to become commonplace in living rooms around the UK once it stops being “new” and the price becomes more accessible.

As many in Cannes were quick to point out, the element of the moving picture will continue to be an effective way to reach people, but it is no longer confined to the television. Not to discredit the comparisons in Thinkbox’s research, but I think soon we won’t even be needing such a comparison as the lines blur between video online and TV – it will all come under connected content.

As De Castro also said, the future of connected TV will mean that ads can be served tailored to individual viewers – thousands of different ads going out at the same ad break to different users, meaning different devices will receive different content according to the type of user identified as being in front of it. A challenge for marketers to meet, but an exciting one.

To read Lou Cooper’s trends feature click here

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here