ROI has always been a critical advertising metric, but new content platforms and the proliferation of consumer devices have made it extremely complex to calculate. Accenture and Disney|ABC set out to addresses this issue by identifying the key drivers of advertising ROI.

Analyzing multiple datasets including Nielsen ratings, E-Poll, Nielsen Social and Magid’s EmotionalDNA, Disney|ABC’s own marketing data and Accenture’s proprietary database, the study identifies the effect of audience size, audience commitment and content quality on advertising investment. While marketers do pay more to advertise during shows with larger audiences, more engaged audiences and higher perceived content quality, the study quantifies their respective ROI uplifts to prove that these investments pay off.

This is the second phase of a robust analysis that Disney|ABC Television commissioned from Accenture Strategy. In 2016, the companies released “Cross Channel Advertising Attribution: New Insights into Multiplatform TV,” a report that demonstrated that multiplatform television delivered superior ROI over search, display and short-form video.

Three key ROI drivers within multiplatform TV

This study uses multiple data inputs as independent variables that could be tied to specific programs, helping content creators and marketers better understand how they affect actual sales.

Select findings and highlights from the report include:

Finding #1: Audience size
Higher rated programs deliver heightened ROI vs their lower-rated counterparts.

ROI based on C7 rating programs from lower to higher

Finding #2: Viewer commitment
When a viewer invests in a program, the ROI for brands that run in those programs can increase by 2X.

 Increase of ROI for brands when viewers invest in programs

Finding #3: Quality content
Programs that viewers score as higher quality regardless of critical acclaim generate a greater lift for advertisers

Greater lift for advertisers from programs that viewers score as higher quality regardless of critical acclaim

Emotional connection to content matters more than ever

The report also explored the connection between emotional connection/perception of content to ROI using eight emotional dimensions published by Magid’s Emotional DNA™ tool (eDNA). It found that certain emotional dimensions of content work harder to drive ROI even higher. Most notably, content that’s perceived to have a high degree of relatability, (i.e., programming that is original, suspenseful and intelligent); edge (i.e., programming that is outrageous and funny) and smarts, (i.e., programming that’s informative and inspiring) is credited with driving the greatest ROI – by as much as 2.5 to 4.0 times versus the average.

These findings could influence marketers’ investments in content-specific advertising opportunities and programmers’ pricing approaches in the future. Emotional connection to content matters more than ever, and brands should consider ways to align with content to drive the greatest ROI.

Brands should consider ways to align with content to drive the greatest ROI

Insights from this study were based primarily on data from the Accenture Marketing Analytics Platform (AMAP), a proprietary, robust database of more than U.S. $25 billion in anonymized marketing spend from 2013 to 2016, across more than 25 leading national brands representing six industry categories. AMAP data was analyzed against other data sources – including Nielsen Ratings, ePoll, Nielsen Social and Magid’s Emotional DNA™ product – to uncover the drivers of multiplatform television ROI.

Mike Chapman​​

Media & Entertainment and Video Strategy Global Lead – Accenture Strategy


Matthew Fanno​

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy​


Craig Macdonald

Managing Director – Accenture Digital

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