April 29, 2010
That’s exactly what I want to tell advertisers who continually complain about how television has lost its effectiveness.
You won’t see Progressive Insurance complaining. The company recently blew away analysts’ expectations with a 27% jump in quarterly profit. They also noted the fifth straight quarter in which their auto policy counts have been up.
It appears the television commercials featuring “Flo” are winning over more than a few new customers for Progressive. The quirky cashier’s appeal is grabbing market share faster than she can fire off another zinger.
Now back to the problem with TV advertising?
It’s pretty basic. It always has been. Engage viewers with something compelling, add in a relevant, unique selling message and stay consistent with it. And most of all, keep an open mind.
How many Insurance company executives would have thrown their agency out the front door if they presented them with commercials featuring a talking gecko … or a bunch of cavemen stuck in the ‘80s … or a sarcastic cashier sporting a tricked-out name tag with “Flo” emblazoned on it?
What would your reaction be?
Remember, pedestrian creative produces pedestrian results.
TV will continue to deliver excellent ROI, but only for those retailers willing to step out of their comfort zones.
April 20, 2010
After 27 years in the advertising business, I have been exposed to all kinds of propaganda, and I’m sure I have been guilty of propagating some myself. But, I have always tried to base mine on logic. So when I hear the social media people tell me that television is fast becoming a thing of the past, I must question the logic in which they base this claim.
Are they unaware that in 2009 the average American home had 2.86 TV sets; 18% higher than 2000 and 40% higher than in 1990?
Or that Americans spent over 36 hours a week watching TV last year compared to 4-hours a week using the Internet?
Perhaps they also forgot that 35% of all advertising dollars will be directed to TV advertising in 2010.
Even if they were aware of these facts, I’m sure it remains a mystery to them “why” television remains so popular.
So, let me clear up this mystery as succinctly as possible. Consumers continue to purchase TV sets, at a record pace, because they simply enjoy watching what’s on them. It’s passive entertainment. It requires them to do absolutely nothing, but switch it on. A comforting concept in today’s overly active world.
TV receives 35 cents of every ad dollar spent because it works for its advertisers. Despite the debate over Push vs. Pull marketing; there’s apparently more than enough consumers who are still happy to be “pushed” into stores all across America.
While building online communities, cultivating dialog and adding twitter followers may eventually pay dividends.
TV pays those dividends NOW.
And from a retailer’s standpoint, coming off the worst recession in 70 years, I can’t think of a better reason “why.”
Source: Nielsen Television Audience Report, 2009
August 22, 2009
As an ad agency owner, it never ceases to amaze me on what makes this business tick. In light of the worst economy in 60 years, logic would say that agencies should be pitching their ability to make the cash register ring.
Instead, any talk about getting customers through the door is obligatory at best with a lot of agencies. Why talk about results when you can drone on and on about your agency’s “award winning” TV commercials? After all, it’s how many awards an agency wins that separates one shop from next. Right?
Who’s kidding who, it’s a lot easier for agency people to wax philosophical on their “break through creative” (the most over-wrought words in advertising) than to defend their work through the prism of increased market share and higher comparative sales.
Unfortunately, too many of my colleagues have forgotten the golden rule in retail advertising:
“It’s not creative if it doesn’t work.”
And even more prefer the easy way out through the creation of advertising that “tells not sells.” You know, the kind of commercials that spend 22 seconds setting up the joke and the last 8 seconds poorly selling the product.
So the next time, you’re ad agency is enthusiastically trying to sell you on another “award winning” television campaign. Keep them honest and ask four simple questions:
- What is the strategy behind what you’re proposing? (Note: “because it’s such a cool idea” is not a strategy.)
- Why is this campaign the best use of my advertising dollars?
- Is there anything else we could do that would deliver a better ROI?
- Will this campaign increase awareness or sales? (Note: awareness is hard to measure; sales are not.)
Then, just sit back and get ready for the show; along with developing all those award-winning commercials – many agencies have become quite adept at the lost art of tap dancing.
August 17, 2009
You bet they are!
A study of 388 case histories by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) found that TV is not only effective, but it is possibly even more effective when it comes to increasing sales.
In today’s complicated world “TV ads help simplify the buying decision, said Joel Robinson,” ARF’s Chief Research Officer.
“People want to zone out and watch TV and relax and let the communications wash over them. TV is an extension of the brand experience.”
Robinson said, the findings concluded that “units sold numbers increased as a result of increased TV impressions.” He added, “When you see it across 388 case histories, I think you’ve got to believe it.”
The report titled, Empirical Evidence of TV Advertising Effectiveness was an analysis of case histories gathered from seven different research agencies from 1990 – 2008.
The study also concluded that TV was #1 in terms of raising brand awareness.