Why investing in TV is way better than Facebook

If we told you that youngsters still watch the same amount of TV as before, and that a video advertisement on Facebook has way less impact than an ad on TV, would you believe us? Probably not. But that’s where our data comes in to back us up. Mediaplus and Facit, our Serviceplan agencies specialised in media and research, interviewed more than 5000 people in Germany in the end of 2020, about video advertising recognition on TV, Facebook, Youtube and Video On Demand. The results show that TV is still alive, and the best and cheapest option to invest in when it comes to showing videos during the awareness stage. See the data for yourself…


The study’s goal was to test ad recognition for videos shown in the awareness stage. Ad recognition is the fact that consumers remember having seen an advertisement, which means the ad had an impact on them.  

The first stage of the survey tested how well consumers remembered having seen the video ad, according to the number of times they were exposed to it. In the graphic below, we observe that Facebook and Youtube both generate less ad recall than on TV and VOD (Video On Demand). Which means that TV is still the best channel for recognition.  

X= number of time the consumer saw the ad
Y= Ad recall in %

Even by mixing the formats and showing thead on both TV and VOD, we see that there isn’t a big change in adrecall:

But if we mix TV with Youtube,then we note that there is a decrease in ad recall:

And if we mix TV with Facebook,then ad recall is at its worst:

So the 1st conclusion of ourstudy is that ad recall for videos in the awareness stage remains strongest on TV and VOD, and that it decreases when using Facebook and Youtube. 

“Ok Mediaplus”, you’re thinking, “this is great, but what about younger generations? They don’t watch TV anymore”. 

Sure about that? Let’s look at some more data. 

This is the average consumption of TV in Belgium for all 12+. We can see that the curb is stable, without any significant increase and decrease, except in the beginning of the COVID crisis:

And this is the average consumption of TV for consumers aged between 18 and 34:

We see that there isn’t any significant decrease in the curb either. This tells us that, yes, younger consumers watch less TV than older consumers, but they don’t watch less than before.

 So for our 2nd conclusion, we can say that Ad recall is still stronger on TV and VOD and that young people are still watching TV as well.

 “Well, then I’m seeing one last problem”, you can say, “and that’s the financial aspect. Showing an ad on TV costs a lot more than showing an ad on Facebook.” 

At this point, would you be surprised if we told you that we have data disproving this?

 These are the prices for an ad to be shown 1000 times on the following media:

Based on these numbers, you’re right, the CPM on Facebook is way smaller than on TV.  

But remember that this is the cost for your video to be shown (= impression). That doesn’t mean that your video has been seen in its entirety. A video that has been shown for 1 second still counts as an impression and you will still have paid for this impression. 

So what is actually interesting, is to know when the consumer sees the video until the end.

 Based on our benchmark, this the percentage of videos shown until the end on each platform:

We’re cheating a little bit, because there is no way to control if a content has been watched in its entirety by a viewer on TV, but that is also the case on the other platforms. What we can measure, is if the video has been shown until the end.  

Based on these numbers above, we can calculate the cost per video shown in its entirety:

And here we see that Facebook is actually 4 to 5 times more expensive than TV, when it comes to showing a video in its entirety. We do observe, however, that Youtube is the cheapest platform(although it isn’t as strong as TV for ad recall, as we saw earlier on).  

So the final conclusion of our study is that ad recall remains stronger on TV and VOD, that youngsters are still watching TV, and that it’s way cheaper to show a video in an effective way on TV than it is on Facebook. 

So, if you want to start an awareness campaign and plan on using videos, our advice is to not use Facebook at all. If you want to create engagement, and that your brand is already known, then Facebook become a good option.  

If you want to know more (like the fact that video is actually the wrong format for any platform during the conversion stage), contact our experts and we’ll be happy to help you out with your media campaign.

Do you want to know more?
Feel free to contact our expert
Nancy Delhalle
Damien Nicolas
Chief Digital Officer


+32 (0)49 1 862 029

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