7 Essential Rules for Achieving the Perfect Balance Between TV and Online Video Ads in 2024

March 28, 2024
someone holding a tiny dart-board, with the arrow placed in the middle and on the right side the words ADS are written vertically

In today’s fast-paced advertising world, striking the perfect balance between TV and online video ads is critical. As viewer habits change and online video gains more ground as a powerful advertising platform, advertisers must rethink their strategies to achieve the best possible reach and cost-effectiveness. Here are seven important rules that you need to get right in 2024 to find the right balance between TV and online video ads, like YouTube:

1. Understand that we are going from a one-stop shop to more shops & shopping.

In the dynamic era of shifting viewer behavior, brands face the intricate challenge of reassessing the effectiveness of their advertising strategies, particularly the balance between TV commercials and online video ads. What was once a one-stop solution (television) has transformed into a complex puzzle of rapidly evolving opportunities, entities, and platforms. A critical question for every serious advertiser is: how do I ensure enough people see my commercials, and how do I maintain cost efficiency?

2. Be aware that despite TV having fewer viewers, using a mix of 30-second TV ads and some online advertising might seem easy.

Despite the allure of the traditional 30-second TV commercial, which many marketers still gravitate towards as a “holy grail,” the landscape is undeniably shifting. The dynamics of viewer behavior, multiple channels, and screens, necessitate a deeper understanding of how to remain effective and efficient in a landscape where the rules of engagement are constantly changing.

For example, Let’s say a company is launching a new line of skincare products targeted at millennials. Traditionally, they might have invested heavily in 30-second TV commercials to reach a broad audience. However, with the rise of online platforms and the decline in TV viewership among millennials, they decide to shift their strategy. Instead of solely relying on TV commercials, they allocate a significant portion of their budget to online advertising. They create engaging video ads tailored for social media platforms like YouTube, where millennials spend a lot of their time. As a result, they can reach a larger and more targeted audience, leading to increased brand awareness and product sales among their target demographic. This example illustrates the importance of adapting to changing viewer behavior and using a mix of TV and online advertising to achieve the best results.

3. The growth of online video, the increase in channels, and the rise of streaming platforms indicate that audiences are spending more time online.

The rise of online video advertising presents an ever more compelling alternative, increasingly challenging the traditional stronghold of TV commercials. This shift is partly driven by the advent of ad-free streaming services and the rapid evolution of online video as a medium. With linear TV operators increasing the prices for TV commercials in anticipation of almost guaranteed ad space sales, brands are increasingly forced to drive towards more cost-effective and flexible online options to sustain campaign and media performance levels. This is against a backdrop of limited capacity and high demand pushing brands to consider the alternatives in the digital space more seriously.

Research done by Dentsu’s 14th annual trends report shows that advertising on connected television (CTV) is set to grow by 32.2% in 2024. This growth is driven by the popularity of ad-funded video on-demand (AVOD) and free ad-supported television (FAST) services. These platforms let viewers watch on-demand and live TV for free or at a reduced cost, combining the best of both worlds. Major players in the ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) sector are introducing new ad formats. For example, YouTube Select recently introduced 30-second unskippable ads. This move is part of a broader trend toward monetization, with 70% of YouTube Select’s impressions coming from TV screens.

4. Note that measuring the impact of online video ads, despite the abundance of available data, remains challenging

Traditional metrics like viewability often fall short; content deemed ‘viewable’ might not capture viewer attention. This discrepancy raises questions about how to maximize the effectiveness of online video ads. Simply shortening a 30-second TV ad to a 15-second online version without adjusting the content accordingly often proves ineffective. The ongoing developments within the industry, such as the emergence of connected TV and free ad-supported streaming services, open huge new avenues for advertisers. Yet, determining the right KPIs for online video ads amidst this complexity remains a daunting task. There are multiple parties and multiple metrics.

5. Seek reliable metrics and test and validate them whenever feasible

It’s important to understand which metrics truly indicate success and relevance in this diverse advertising landscape. Brand recognition is key in both online and TV advertising. Many ads still struggle to be easily understood or to connect with the brand. Platforms like can help you test your ads before launching them, while services like Vidtao offer guidelines. Balancing your investment between online and TV advertising can be tricky, but predictive AI can assist you in making better decisions. Over-investing has been a common problem, but with the right tools, you can find the ideal balance more easily.

For e.g. tests for attention before your ad becomes public. It gives insights into how much attention your brand will get, if viewers will get distracted while watching your ad, and if your ad is too complex to remember. Through this you can benchmark your campaign against thousands of other YouTube ads!

6. Knowing the key requirements for effective online ads can improve your effectiveness and optimize your media balance. While effectiveness is important, the decision between prioritizing TV or online ads can impact your strategy significantly. Starting with an online-first approach could be a wise choice.

In advertising, both the message and how it’s delivered are important. If an ad has too much going on, isn’t noticeable, doesn’t stand out, or is too small, it might not be understood by the intended audience.

The trend in advertising is moving towards prioritizing online strategies over traditional TV ads. Studies show that focusing on digital platforms can make your advertising budget go further. For example, companies that have shifted to an online-first approach have seen up to 30% more people watching their videos all the way through, which is a key measure of success.

An online-first strategy means creating content specifically for digital platforms, instead of just repurposing TV ads. This approach not only helps your message resonate better with online audiences but also saves money compared to traditional TV advertising. Companies that have embraced this approach have found that their cost per completed view has decreased significantly, showing that digital advertising can be more cost-effective than TV ads.

As a part of the Attention Economy research initiative, dentsu conducted a study with the AVOD platform Amazon Freevee. The study demonstrated that connected TV (CTV) has the potential to maintain higher levels of attention, with Freevee results being three times higher than broadcast TV norms. Additionally, CTV was found to improve recall, with a 5% higher recall rate compared to dentsu norms.

7. Using predictive analytics to forecast the impact of online video ads can enhance your effectiveness.

As market dynamics and new channels accelerate the shift from traditional TV to online, increased prices and the lack of ideal measurement methods for online ads put additional pressure on advertisers. Improving the measurability and effectiveness of online video ads, especially before launching a campaign, is crucial to maximizing impact. What works creatively on linear television may not necessarily translate effectively to online video, requiring a different approach that considers both medium and creative execution. There are various examples of this working out well.

Media usage reflects a trend towards diversity in society. People can now personalize their TV schedules and choose content based on their interests. This has led to a generation that consumes media tailored to their unique lives. In the UK, the number of TV programs with over four million viewers has dropped by over 50% in less than ten years, as viewers select sources that resonate with them. Therefore, with such a targetted audience, using predictive analytics to forecast for maximum attention would enhance the ads’ effectiveness.


Take a fresh look at your approach and find the best way to succeed. With the advertising landscape changing, brands need to rethink their strategies and find the most effective ways to connect with their audience. Our 7 rules can guide you through this journey, emphasizing the importance of adapting to change to ensure your marketing efforts are effective.

Related Articles
A woman sitting in front of her computer, distracted with her phone

Duration-Based Attention Metrics: A Siren Song for Marketers?

Skip the Long Ads! Quality over Quantity for Attention Marketing. Learn how to craft impactful ads that resonate & ditch misleading duration metrics.

A mother with her two kids standing at a grocery store, all confused what to buy because of too many options

Understanding Hick’s Law: How Can You Make Users Decide Quickly?

Want to make your customers buy faster? Hick’s Law can help you with that. Learn all about it with examples of big brands applying it.

A laptop which shows an AI bot in it with a stack of pencils kept on the left side of the laptop

AI Marketing Automation: What You Need To Know

Looking for a smart strategy to enhance your marketing and productivity? Try AI marketing automation. Learn how you can use this and the tools available.


Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Stay ahead of the competition with a monthly summary of our top articles and new scientific research.