You are here

Research: Questioning the Effectiveness of Contextual Television Advertising

research on Contextual Television Advertising
Published on
28 February 2017

As businesses and marketing go digital, companies have to track the effectiveness of their advertising across many channels. The growth of online transactions has made website conversions an essential factor for many businesses. Thanks to detailed data, researchers can track the effectiveness of television advertising for online conversions. 

This article from Ivan Guitart and Guillaume Hervet is the subject of the 33rd GEM LAB Executive Summaries.

Contextual advertising refers to the delivery of ads in related editorial contents. For example, a company might place a car ad during a TV show that speaks about cars.

With the growth of new technology, contextual advertising has been on the rise in the television industry. However, the researchers note that the impact of contextual advertising has yet to be clearly demonstrated.

Contextual versus neutral advertising

To explore this issue, the researchers collaborated with an online price comparison company that sells car insurance, health insurance and compares banking fees. The company provided the researchers with access to their past advertising campaigns as well as google analytics data to track conversions.

The company's TV ads were divided into two categories: Contextual car insurance ads that were placed during TV shows related to cars, and neutral ads that were placed during shows that were unrelated to the company's car, health and banking products. Following this categorization, the researchers studied the short and long-term impact on conversion for all three of the company's products.

Little to gain from contextual advertising?

The results of this study led the researchers to recommend that the company not rely on contextual advertising. The reason for this recommendation lies in the fact that the net impact of contextual advertising on conversions for the three products was smaller than the net impact of neutral advertising. The effectiveness of car-contextual ads was lower due to two factors.

First, car-contextual ads did not generate more conversions than neutral ads for the company's car insurance product. Second, car-contextual ads did not generate any conversions for the company's health and banking products whereas neutral ads increased conversions for all three products.

Spillover inhibition effect for contextual ads

The results of the study highlighted that contextual ads can create a spillover inhibition effect. The effect of neutral ads spilled over to the three products, whereas car-contextual ads were only effective for the car insurance product. Thus, placing ads in car-contextual shows inhibited the beneficial spillover created by neutral ads.

While these results led to the recommendation that the company should not rely on contextual advertising, the researchers underline that these findings are specific to the product category they studied. As a result, they might not apply to every business. However, the results highlight the importance of tracking and assessing ad performance as this enables companies to determine if contextual advertising is right for them.

Key points

  • Contextual advertising refers to ads that are delivered in related editorial contents (e.g., car insurance ads played during car shows).
  • Contextual television ads might not be more effective than neutral ads
  • Companies should track and assess the effectiveness of their ads in order to determine if contextual advertising is right for them.

On the same subject

  • les fondamentaux pour bien gérer son marketing personnel.
    Published on 12 July 2018

    The fundamentals of personal marketing

    Successful personal marketing is an art. How can you go beyond compulsive tweeting or an excessive use of social networks in order to create a solid strategy to build and maintain your e-reputation?

  • David Gotteland est professeur de marketing à Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 21 June 2018

    How Can You Create a Reliable Innovation Process?

    Formatted, creative methods with a framework enable scientifically proven increases in innovation processes. The stakes are high as only 15% of innovative ideas at a company end up as financial and commercial successes.

  • Comment les primes influent la vente de produits neufs ou recyclés ?
    Published on 19 June 2018

    Sales Incentives: Balancing New and Remanufactured Goods

    Remanufactured goods can provide companies with higher profit margins. But, it’s essential for companies to implement a strategy that adequately balances the sale of new and remanufactured products.

  • Chirag Patel et Christophe Haon
    Published on 18 May 2018

    Research: Retail Website Performance, to Outsource or not to Outsource?

    To improve sales, retail websites focus on personalizing their web pages and increasing their influence on social networks. To achieve these goals, should they rely on internal resources or call on external service providers? A study of 105 U.S....

  • sabatier-genet-bojovic
    Published on 23 April 2018

    Research: Defining Your Business Model Through Experimentation

    Innovative companies rely on experimentation to develop their business models. However, this approach can be quite costly and the risks are underappreciated. Two GEM researchers recently analyzed the experiences of startups in the connected health...

  • paiement mobile
    Published on 26 March 2018

    How to Encourage User Adoption of Mobile Payment Options?

    Despite the convenience of mobile payment technology, customer adoption of this new technology is not a given. How can companies build on previous internet experience to facilitate this transition?

  • Published on 26 February 2018

    Research: A Framework to Understand the Sharing Economy

    The sharing economy encompasses an immense range of actors, including everything from majors economic players (e.g., Airbnb and Uber) to local community-based initiatives (e.g., repair cafés or fablabs). With such a variety of players, it is...

  • Marketing: the Hidden Disadvantages of Sustainability and CSR
    Published on 22 February 2018

    Marketing: the Hidden Disadvantages of Sustainability and CSR

    Sustainability and CSR policies are à la mode for good reason. Yet, they can sometimes backfire, in particular in terms of marketing. Discover the risks of marketing a sustainable product.

  • Les conditions licites de la cybersurveillance du salarié
    Published on 25 January 2018

    Workplace Cyber Surveillance: Rights and Obligations

    Can a business spy on its employees? Yes, within certain limits. Discover how European courts regulate workplace cyber surveillance.

  • Published on 18 January 2018

    Technology Sourcing: How to Optimize Web Performance?

    To increase the performance of retail websites, companies should explore both internal tech development and outsourced tech services. New research confirms the advantage of mixing technology sources.

  • Caroline Cuny, GEM
    Published on 14 December 2017

    Going Digital to Improve In-Store Customer Relations

    How can digital technology help companies improve a customer’s shopping experience? We look at emerging trends such as artificial intelligence, facial recognition and olfactive marketing.

  • Analogical Reasoning, Generating Innovative Ideas With Customers
    Published on 08 December 2017

    Research: Analogical Reasoning, Generating Innovative Ideas With the Help of Customers

    All innovation processes begin with the generation of new ideas, the majority of which end up not being useful. To improve this process, businesses are involving customers. However, the quality of ideas generated by customers is often quite...

  • Diogo Hildebrand, researcher and Corporate Social Responsibility expert at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 November 2017

    Research: How Do Consumers Evaluate Corporate Social Responsibility?

    From fighting poverty and illness to providing disaster relief, corporations around the world dedicate considerable resources to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Contributions come in a variety of forms such as monetary donations, the donation...

  • Erno TORNIKOSKI is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 28 September 2017

    Research: Entrepreneurship, understanding Technology-Based Competitive Advantage

    Policy-makers, researchers and entrepreneurs generally agree that R...

  • Can TV Characters Teach Us About Management?
    Published on 14 September 2017

    Can TV Characters Teach Us About Management?

    From Mad Men to The Sopranos or The Walking Dead, discover the management wisdom of characters in popular TV series.

  • Lamya Kermiche, professeur associé à Grenoble Ecole de Management au département Finance, Innovation et Gouvernance.
    Published on 03 July 2017

    Audit Market Dynamics: the French Perspective on Mandatory Joint Audits

    The audit industry has garnered increasing attention from policy makers, in particular since the demise of Arthur Andersen in 2002. The industry is marked by the fact it has only four major players known as the Big 4. The concentration of audit...

  • Published on 17 June 2017

    Nanovalor: a Platform to Evaluate the Value of New Tech

    Emerging technology can impact society and the economy in a variety of ways. Nanovalor creates a platform to analyze and learn about the value of new tech.

  • Professeur Sénior  Professeur au département Homme, Organisations et Société  Doctorate of Philosophy, Institut Universitaire Européen, Grenoble EM
    Published on 12 June 2017

    Research: Indulgences or Abuse of Indulgences, a New Perspective on Corporate Sins

    From environmental damage to product malfunctions or bribery, businesses around the world are often responsible for wrongdoing. However, assessing the moral stature of a business is considered to be a notoriously difficult task. Not only are...

  • fornerino-marianela
    Published on 19 April 2017

    Sensory Marketing: Reinventing the Customer Experience

    How can images, sounds, smells, touch and taste impact a customer’s intention to purchase?

  • Health Industry, Technological Innovation Tied to Business Model Innovation
    Published on 31 March 2017

    Research: Health Industry, Technological Innovation Tied to Business Model Innovation

    With the growth of digital tools and applications, many industries are faced with the arrival of new players. This latest study explores the use of applications in the healthcare industry in order to better compare the innovation capacity between...

  • Published on 19 March 2017

    Easy-to-Read Food Labels Increase Intention to Purchase

    The battle for healthy food has become a worldwide concern. Public health agencies have invested energy and resources in fighting health risks such as obesity. In this battle, food labels that indicate nutritional facts have come to play a vital...

  • Research on Democratic Company Governance
    Published on 10 January 2017

    Research: Powerless Chiefs, the Key to Effective Democratic Company Governance?

    Member-based organizations such as co-operatives are built around the concepts of democracy and equality. However, not all co-operatives are successful in maintaining their egalitarian approach. This latest study explores an innovative perspective...

  • Published on 09 December 2016

    Research: Renewable Energy, How to Invest While Sharing Costs Fairly?

    Countries are investing billions to foster renewable energy. Yet these investments do not necessarily consider who is footing the bill and whether each household is paying its fair share. This latest research highlights concrete principles that can...

  • Crowdfunding: research shows uniqueness and differentiation are key.
    Published on 20 November 2016

    Research: When Selling a New Idea, Differentiation Beats Transparency

    If you would like to raise funds for a project using crowdfunding, recent research highlights that it is better to underline what makes your idea unique rather than emphasize transparency and a multitude of explanations. This conclusion is the...

  • MIA BIRAU, Post-doc au département Marketing  Doctorate of Philosophy, Grenoble Ecole de Mangement
    Published on 18 October 2016

    Research: The Psychological Factors of Household Food Waste

    More than 800 million people worldwide are undernourished. And despite this, we waste a third of our global food supply every year. Despite the development of many good practices to reduce household waste, food is often squander unintentionally. In...

  • research on logo makeover perception
    Published on 18 October 2016

    Time for a Logo Makeover? Make it a Hit!

    A logo represents a brand’s image. It highlights its values and market position. Changing your logo can be a delicate transition. How can you ensure a smooth change? In January 2014, Grenoble Ecole de Management unveiled its new logo. Caroline Cuny...

  • Published on 19 August 2016

    NeOse™: Creating an Electronic Description of WHAT YOU SMELL?

    Nearly 10% of the world population is believed to suffer from olfactory disorders. Whether it is the inability to detect odors or an altered sense of smell, olfactory disorders can lead to depression and desocialization. In response, Aryballe...

  • Federico Pigni, Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 01 July 2016

    Research: Creating Value from Digital Data Streams

    The big data era is upon us. Startups, major companies, organizations and governments are all rushing to extract essential insights from big data. Yet in doing so, many have overlooked the potential value of the digital data streams (DDS) that make...

  • Published on 30 June 2016

    Joining the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

    Grenoble Ecole de Management becomes the first Business School in the world, and the first higher education institution in France to join the prestigious International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency based in...

  • Joachim Schleich, professor and energy markets experts at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 03 June 2016

    Research: Transferring Clean Technology to Emerging Countries

    Does the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as defined by the Kyoto Protocol provide real support for the transfer of climate-friendly technologies to developing countries? A study carried out with 137 companies provides new insights. This article...

  • Research: the impact of performance evaluations on an individual's network.
    Published on 22 April 2016

    Research: Positive Performance Evaluations Help Employees Develop Internal Networks

    Interactions are an essential part of any organization. Whether it is receiving help from colleagues or gaining access to crucial information, developing a strong internal network makes it easier for an employee to get things done. This latest study...

  • Published on 30 March 2016

    Food and Nostalgia : which link ?

    NOSTALGIA MAKES CONSUMERS MORE LIKELY TO SPEND OR DONATE MONEY The use of nostalgia has been a top trend in marketing in the last few years, in commercials, product lines and even TV shows. The present study demonstrates that feeling nostalgic...

  • websites such as TripAdvisor have given consumers the power to impact a company's image.
    Published on 22 March 2016

    TripAdvisor: How Companies React to Negative Ratings

    The world wide web has revolutionized the hotel, restaurant and other travel-related industries. From online bookings to customer ratings, companies have to learn how to operate in this new environment. While an organization's market identity used...

  • Research: Creating Visitor Engagement Through Music
    Published on 29 February 2016

    Research: Creating Visitor Engagement Through Music

    Digital communications have created an information overload for customers. To stand out on the world wide web, companies have to offer clients a high-impact experience. When used properly, music provides a simple yet effective means of creating a...

  • Published on 26 January 2016

    Research: Corporate Social Responsibility at Odds with Global Markets?

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies have received much attention for their potential to improve societal conditions while creating value for companies. However, this latest study from Grenoble Ecole de Management highlights the fact that...

  • Published on 08 December 2015

    Book : Making Innovation Last

    « Unlike any book in our fields, this book is explicitly cross disciplinary even as it focuses on innovation streams over time… I could not recommend this book more highly; it has the potential to be a landmark contribution” Michael L. Tushman,...

  • Federico Pigni, Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 28 October 2015

    Congratulations Federico Pigni

    Duetto: Industry Transformation with Big Data, a case study in Harvard Business Review by Federico Pigni, Associate Professor in Information Systems in the Management of Technology and Strategy department at the Grenoble Ecole de Management (France...

  • Published on 13 October 2015

    Put Music on your Website

    Your web communication needs to offer a rich consumer experience to distinguish it from others. Nowadays, websites must evoke enjoyable and memorable feelings in their visitors in order to encourage them to revisit and recommend the website.

  • websites such as TripAdvisor have given consumers the power to impact a company's image.
    Published on 29 September 2015

    Customer reaction and Market identity

    This article, written by Tao Wang, Filippo Carlo Wezel and Bernard Forgues, examines the conditions under which organizations publicly respond to unfavorable consumer evaluations that challenge their market identity. This study relies on an analyse...

  • Published on 16 July 2015

    Research: Unraveling the Link Between Managerial Risk-Taking and Innovation - the Mediating Role of a Risk-Taking Climate

    Innovation has become a crucial factor for companies looking to maintain their competitive advantage. Yet creating innovative ideas requires a certain level of risk-taking. While research on this subject has focused primarily on risk-taking at one...

  • Published on 22 June 2015

    Research: Microeconomic Degrowth, Community Supported Agriculture

    Economic growth is the cornerstone of mainstream macroeconomics. In the face of economic crises and unemployment, growth has long been the only acceptable solution. Yet many issues have started to challenge this dominant economic model. As a result...

  • Recherche : nutrition des sportifs et plaisir
    Published on 16 June 2015

    Is It Fun or Exercise ? The Framing of Physical Activity Biases Subsequent Snacking

    While the benefits of exercising are widely accepted by consumers and healthcare providers, people who begin an exercise program don't necessarily lose weight. A fact that can be frustrating not only for practitioners, but their coaches and...

  • Mark Olsthoorn, professor and researcher at Grenoble Ecole de Mangement
    Published on 07 April 2015

    Barriers to Electricity Load Shift in Companies, a Survey-Based Exploration of the End-User Perspective

    Overcoming the barriers to renewable energy systems is a key challenge. In shifting from centralized fossil-fuel energy production to decentralized solar and wind energy production, countries are being forced to act on multiple fronts : flexible...

  • Vincent Mangematin, Associate Dean for Corporate Relations and Research at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 17 March 2015

    Orchestrating Innovation with User Communities in the Creative Industries

    In search of continuous innovation, the digital creative industries have expanded their interactions with user communities to develop their products. This study highlights the evolution of these company-user relationships that allow for fluid...

  • Published on 16 January 2015

    Nostalgia makes consumers more likely to spend or donate money

    The use of nostalgia has been a top trend in marketing in the last few years, in commercials, product lines and even TV shows. The present study demonstrates that feeling nostalgic weakens the desire to hold on to money, and makes it easier to part...

  • Joachim Schleich, professor and energy markets experts at Grenoble Ecole de Management
    Published on 01 December 2014

    Research: Switching to energy efficient lighting : a bright idea!

    Energy efficiency policies such as the EU ban on incandescent light bulbs (and on halogen ones in the near future) have been the subject of much discussion in the last few years. The majority of the academic community predicted that new emerging...

  • Published on 07 November 2014

    Research : Digitization, Changing How We Work and Coordinate Projects

    All of us use digital tools and objects that can now be shared and combined in a variety of ways. This change has profoundly influenced the organization of work with projects being divided according to specialization and geographical location.

  • Erno TORNIKOSKI is a Professor in Entrepreneurship at Grenoble Ecole de Management.
    Published on 16 September 2014

    Research: How can the start-up process be accelerated?

    Success or failure of new businesses is what most studies related to the start-up process focus on. However, in today's dynamic market, time is a highly critical issue for nascent entrepreneurs.