Fear not, teens are still watching…

March 19, 2012

The greatest fear among those in the TV industry – that teens are turning away from television – is not happening. On the contrary, teen TV viewing is increasing at the rate of 2.5% a year, according to a recent Los Angeles Times article.

In the March 9, 2012 article that references a new report titled “Why the Internet won’t Kill TV”, we learn that while teens embrace new platforms like Hulu and YouTube, their consumption of TV continues to grow.

Teens currently watch almost four hours of TV a day, up from roughly three hours spent in front of TV in 2004.  In comparison, teens on average watch only three minutes of video a day via computer or smartphone.

4 hours vs. 3 minutes. No reason, in my opinion, for TV executives or advertisers to be pacing the floors at night.

Will TV eventually fall from grace?  I’m sure it will.  “Everything” does.   But the key word here is “eventually.”

The LA Times article goes on to say that even if there were indications of teens watching less TV, it would take at least two decades “before it significantly impacts the size of valuable TV audiences for advertisers.”

Not two days or two months or two years, but TWO DECADES.

At the risk of sounding overly simplistic, I would argue that worrying about TV’s eventual demise, at this point in time, makes as much sense as riding your bike to work because you’re worried about the eventual depletion of fossil fuel.

Neither is imminent.

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TV Production Breakthrough: The Canon 5D

January 25, 2012

Just a few years ago, only the big guys could afford to shoot their commercials on 35mm film, while smaller companies had to settle for the harsh, cheap look of video tape.

Not anymore!

The Canon 5D Mark II Digital Camera evens the playing field by delivering stunning, film-like images for 85% less. This Hi-Definition camera does it all from producing shallow depth of field to delivering rich, realistic scenes under low lighting conditions.  The camera is so amazing, so film-like, that the Director of Photography for the award winning TV show “House” shot the entire 7th season on it!

And with the Canon 5D, you can do a lot more with less. Gone are the days of 15 person crews… lugging lights and equipment from scene-to -scene.  A shot that took almost two hours to light for a film shoot, can now be lit to the same exact standards with a two-person crew in less than 45 minutes!

There’s little doubt that the Canon 5D has brought affordable, high-end TV production to the local advertiser.

Here’s hoping it won’t be wasted on the same low-end concepts?


Think Differently!

October 27, 2011

That’s what Steve Jobs did. Even though he revolutionized the digital era, he did not think much of the internet as a branding medium. While everyone was jumping on the digital bandwagon, Jobs effectively remained “old school.”

In 2010, Apple spent an estimated $420 million on advertising. Over 90% of that budget was allocated to network television, newspapers, magazines and billboards. Less than 10% went toward digital initiatives.

And when Apple did spend online, it was usually an extension of a TV campaign like the iconic Mac vs. PC ads.

Jobs also believed in controlling the message which files in the face of the current wisdom that consumers should tell the brand story via Facebook and Twitter. Upon his death, Apple barely had a presence on either platform.

Throughout his brilliant career, Jobs created products for the masses. And he wisely chose mediums that targeted the masses. In advertising, as in product development, he relied heavily on his convictions and intuition. He did not rely on “likes” or “tweets.” He took a much more pragmatic approach: tell the story of how an amazing product can change a consumer’s life in the best environment possible. And then he was smart enough to understand that the best environment – then and now – is still traditional media.


All that glitters isn’t gold!

October 19, 2011

A new survey of marketers conducted by the Association of National Advertisers has discovered something interesting, but not terribly surprising about the new media rage.  According to the survey, more national companies are dedicating larger portions of their ad budgets to new media.  But it also finds more companies questioning the effectiveness of their new media investments.

78% of companies surveyed said that they planned to spend more on new media like online ads, social networks, search engine marketing, mobile and viral video in 2012 than they did this year.  On average, this represents 14% of their total media spending – up from 10% in 2011.

So, with more spending come better results, right?  Not necessarily.  Compared to a similar study in 2009, marketers in general, are complaining that bigger investments in new media are not always producing the desired results.

“While marketers have substantially increased their use of new media platforms over the past few years, they are beginning to question the effectiveness of some of these vehicles,” Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA said.  “The ANA survey indicates a strong willingness by marketers to integrate innovative new approaches into their marketing mix; however, this enthusiasm is tempered by concerns regarding the ROI of these emerging options.”

Or in other words, anyone who thought that new media was going to quickly transcend old media (i.e. television) was perhaps blinded by all the glitter.


Local TV Still Tops for News, Weather, Traffic

September 27, 2011

A new survey from Pew Research Center entitled “How people learn about their local community,” finds that local TV continues to be the top source for breaking news, weather and traffic, and ties with newspapers as the main source of local political news. And when the respondents said “Local TV,” it was clear from the answers that they were talking about local broadcast stations, not regional or local cable news nets, says one of the study’s authors. For breaking news, local TV was the main source of information for 55% of respondents to the survey, compared to the internet (16%) and local newspapers (14%). Fifty-eight percent of survey participants went to local TV for information about weather, compared to the internet (32%) and local newspapers (10%). And the reliance on local news cut across demos. Even the web-savvy under 40 generation still looks to TV for news (47%) much more than the internet (22%).

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