Attribution Data Points to TV Ads Driving More Sales

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 that “TV drives results across verticals and across outcome measures.” 

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

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

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

Hoctor said his data also cast new light on the rules of thumb for how frequently a consumer should see an marketers commercial. Instead of effectiveness fading after three views, Data + Math found that the 4th and 5th exposures also lifted sales. 

“You shouldn't just be on TV. You should  be on TV a lot,” Hoctor said. 

Data + Math’s analysis is also helping marketer pinpoint which days and which day parts 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 increase TV advertising, they saw their productive leads increase via their websites and travel increase. 

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

More importantly, those companies’ revenues 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. 


Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.