What is the impact of TV on search?

28th April 2022

The impact of TV on search has been widely researched, and the pandemic saw a boost in the number of people staying at home. The average person in Britain is estimated to watch over 3 hours of TV a day but this statistic, combined with the average 4 hours spent on a smartphone, suggests that Brits spend a minimum of a quarter of their day on a device. They are bombarded with ads targeted and organically found through searches during this time. But how do brands utilise this to raise brand awareness and turn audiences into paying customers? Within this post, we will look at the impact of TV on the search and discuss how your brand can utilise TV to boost consumer engagement. 

What impact does TV have on search?

TV has proven to raise brand and product awareness, which increased during the pandemic as people spent more time indoors. The combination of TV and online ads pushing consumers toward a product or brand sees search increase as the repetition of the ads sticks in the consumer’s mind. Audiences in their relaxed state watching TV are far more open to advertisements as they are expected, but the impact can go two ways. For many, ad breaks are the time to get up from their favourite show to make a cup of tea or scroll through social media to connect with friends. Whilst there are many who watch the advertisement breaks, they are unlikely to take action after seeing one ad. This is where TV impacts search. Audiences will see something on TV, and like the sound of it, so they will search for the product or service before they forget. They may continue to look at this online, or it will be left for a later date. 

A study by Think With Google found that adding ‘Search Google for *insert product*’ on the final frame as the end-tag on a TV ad generated 1.27 more searches than without. This is because it adds a subtle call to action that is not intrusive to the audience’s time but reminds them how to find out more.  The important thing to recognise with TV ads is that you are not selling a product but raising awareness and presenting a lifestyle with the ad’s contents and the placement. 

For example, the ITV show Love Island is surrounded by relevant ads targeted at the audience, the show also includes sponsored items, and the contestants are sent clothes by brands that feature in the ad breaks. This allows brands to target the consumer throughout the show, and with technological advancements, smart TVs also include popup ads allowing the consumer to shop directly whilst watching the show. The stats show the impact of TV on search, with 85% of adults and 91% of millennials reporting that TV advertising has influenced their online searches.

Why does TV impact search?

TV is a brand awareness tool which leads consumers into their discovery phase. When your brand utilises TV to raise brand awareness, you engage consumers in the marketing funnel. The more times they hear and see your ad, the more ingrained, it becomes in their memory, and this, combined with an engaging digital campaign, increases the likelihood of them converting. Ensuring a seamless path to purchase down the marketing funnel will make the discovery phase (search) easier for the consumer, increasing the change of purchase. 

Is TV right for every brand?

TV is a highly effective channel but is expensive compared to other marketing channels. So whilst it may be suitable for your brand, it might not be accessible due to the costs. Your brand may benefit more from a multichannel campaign using lower-cost channels. However, as technology improves, we see TV become more accessible to smaller-scale brands, and Smart TV now allows brands to advertise at a lower cost. Whilst this is not equal in comparison to TV ads, popups and shoppable TV have opened up TV to a wider audience. 

As we know, TV raises brand awareness, and when paired with search, it takes the consumer directly to purchase. Research and data agency Magic Numbers shows that TV drives cheaper online journeys because it prompts people to search for the brand specifically rather than by category. Generic paid search costs, advertisers, more than brand paid search hence why TV is a great asset as it increases awareness directing consumers to your brand. 

Smart TV

With functions allowing advertisers to target specific demographics through geolocation targeting TV has now become much more effective.  As consumers log into streaming sites, smart TV now has more access to mosaic data indicating age, preferences, household size, ethnicity etc. this can then be used to target consumers in a highly personalised way and can be narrowed down by postcode location. Within four or five years, 90% of Britons will have a smart TV. This will allow brands to reach a wider audience, which will be more economical on the marketing budget as each campaign can be much more targeted. As the number of people owning a Smart TV increases, TV as a channel will become even more accessible to brands, and we will see more ads popping up on our TV screens. 

How to maximise the effect of TV on search?


Ensuring your TV ad is run at the right time of day, linked to the right programme, and delivered with a short CTA that drives audiences to search for your product or brand you will see success. Whilst prime time TV is more expensive to advertise, this has a more direct reach to your target audience and therefore you could see a higher return on investment. The impact of TV on search tends to be stronger on the weekend, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Multichannel channel campaign

One recent study showed that brands in the top position get around 21% click-through which is 98% higher than the second spot. When brands sync their TV ads with their paid search, they increase the chance of consumers engaging with their site. This can be altered per ad, and your brand can ensure you have the top search ranking in the critical moments after a big game or prime time TV show. By aligning a multichannel marketing campaign to deliver in sync, your brand will see a higher return, allowing you to run more targeted ads that are more effective at engaging your audience. As we mentioned previously, consumers tend to go on multiple devices when watching TV; capturing them on each platform will increase brand awareness and allow you to engage with them at a range of touchpoints. 


Consider the mindset of the audience you are trying to reach. As we mentioned previously, consumers watch TV to relax, so they are not in an active mindset. Therefore, your campaigns should complement this.  By understanding the mindset of your consumers, your brand will see consumer receptivity to ads increase; this rises by 60% when they’re in the right mood to see commercial messages, MAGNA found in its research. 

Your ad must find a way to engage audiences in their dreamy state enough to entice them within the marketing funnel. Once they are in the marketing funnel, you can utilise a range of touchpoints to convert them into paying customers. 

Why should I utilise TV to increase search?

According to a recent study by TVSquared, “live, actionable, TV analytics are shaping how advertisers plan their approach to their TV investments over the next 6-to-12 months, making TV attribution a vital part of any advertiser’s marketing strategy”. This is no surprise when we consider the findings. TV provides a shorter and cheaper digital journey because the digital journey is organic at the initial touchpoint and then can be retargeted from there. Whilst the initial cost of TV advertising is much higher, the cost of search is reduced due to the effectiveness of TV when raising brand awareness, as TV advertising leads to an average increase of+60% in search engine queries. 

As one of the most expensive marketing channels, TV ads must be carefully planned to raise the share of voice and increase share of market. Aligning your ad to run alongside a popular show with a look-a-like audience to your brand and simultaneously running a digital campaign will maximise your reach. You can boost the performance of other media channels by up to 54% when you run a TV campaign alongside a digital one. 

GottaBe! can help with links with media channels; we know how to get your brand out there. If you want to start a TV campaign, then look no further. We can take care of your TV campaign from beginning to end, booking models, videographers and the perfect slot on TV for you. We have run several successful TV ads and, most recently, GottaBe! Ethnic ran a multichannel marketing campaign for Global Banking School