New study says US kids recall YouTube ads twice as much versus broadcast TV

Published on: 19th August 2021

Precise TV and Giraffe Insights joint study also reveals correlation between YouTube ad recall and purchases.


YouTube is now the single biggest source of supply in US connected TV (CTV) advertising, according to the joint study

A new study from Precise TV, a kid safe contextual advertising platform, and the kids, youth and family research agency Giraffe Insights, reveals that children between 2-12 years old recall ads on YouTube two times more often than ads on broadcast television. In a survey of 2,000 families, 70% of kids asserted they recall ads on YouTube. In contrast, only 35% of respondents recalled ads on broadcast TV.

These findings do not suggest that families are not watching video on televisions, but rather that they’ve shifted their viewership habits to internet-enabled viewing across screens. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the trend of households embracing free ad-supported television (FAST) options such as VIZIO WatchFree, Roku and, of course, YouTube. Unsurprisingly, YouTube is now the single biggest source of supply in US connected TV (CTV) advertising, with approximately 40% of US ad impressions on YouTube now occurring on TV screens, up from 12% just two years ago, according to eMarketer.

“The convergent TV revolution is upon us,” said Christian Dankl, Precise TV co-founder and chairman. “As the traditional TV, streaming and online premium video worlds coalesce, YouTube is the dominant catch all for advertisers coveting audiences online and via connected TVs.”

YouTube is the most popular way US kids consume content (85%), followed by Video On Demand (71%), and Gaming (60%). In contrast, they are least interested in esports (13%), magazines/catalogues (16%) and trips to the cinema (17%).

The study goes further, also investigating how advertisements across platforms impact purchasing decisions. A staggering 70% of kids saw ads on YouTube versus just 35% on broadcast TV, and respondents suggest a direct correlation between this heightened YouTube ad recall and purchasing decisions. When kids were asked to recall where they saw the items they asked their parents to buy advertised, YouTube was the overwhelming answer (34%) followed by broadcast TV (15%) and in-store (9%). This was largely backed up by parents. When parents were asked where they had seen ads that led to purchased items for their children, they said YouTube (25%) followed by broadcast TV (12%) and online websites (10%).

Precise TV

When kids were asked to recall where they saw the items they asked their parents to buy advertised, YouTube was the overwhelming answer

“This study, which we run biannually with Giraffe Insights, is key in helping us track trends in viewing behaviour over time,” said Holly Paxman Gibb, VP of Kids Media Program Sales US at Precise TV. “We’re able to identify new platforms and behaviours as they emerge to inform digital marketing strategies that cut through and deliver ROI. We’ve known for years that kids are watching YouTube above all other online video platforms, but with this study we can now link those viewing habits to purchasing decisions. By plugging this data into a contextual targeting platform, it allows brands to ensure they’re reaching a convertible audience before even launching a campaign.”

“This exciting piece of research comes at a time where brands need to understand and respond to the changing environment and the impact this is having on kids viewing,” added Maxine Fox, managing director at Giraffe Insights. “Our study revealed 35% of kids only access content via YouTube, online sites, social media, gaming and video on demand platforms. This means if brands and advertisers are not focusing on a digital-first strategy, they’re missing at least a third of their desired audience from the outset. With a wealth of other data that sits behind this study, brands can access the full research to provide their business with strategic kids insights not currently available anywhere else.”


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