TV Advertising Helps 3 Auto Brands Stand Out!

November 11, 2009

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What do Hyundai/Kia, Subaru and Volkswagen all have in common?

1) They spent considerably more on television advertising for the first 6 months of 2009, as a percentage of their ad budgets, than the auto industry average.  


% of ad budget spent on TV Advertising







Industry Avg. 


2) All three auto makers saw their market share increase substantially over the same period a year ago.

Brand  Market Share Increase 
Hyundai/Kia  39.7%
Subaru  52.9%
Volkswagen 28.8%

3) All three posted year-over-year unit sales decreases (every single manufacturer suffered decreases in sales during this period) that were considerably less than the industry average.

Brand  Unit Sales Decreases 
Hyundai/Kia  -9.4% 
Subaru -0.8%
Volkswagen -16.4%
Industry Avg. – 35.1%

4) All three brands allocated a smaller percentage of their ad budgets to Internet advertising than the industry average:

Brand  % of ad budget spent on U.S. Internet Advertising
Hyundai/Kia 3.7%
Subaru 5.4%
Volkswagen 4.0% 
Industry Avg. 7.5%

What do I think?

First of all, I think all three auto makers have done a great job bringing products to market that people actually want to buy. That’s most important to remember.

I also think it’s hard to refute what the data above says about their advertising decisions. There’s no denying, I’ve seen a ton of compelling television commercials for Hyundai, Subaru and Volkswagen this past year … and it would appear I was not the only one. 

I don’t care how the new media crowd spins it, when a brand like Subaru spends 90% of their total ad budget on television and is able to increase market share by 53% — it makes a compelling case for the power of television advertising. Short and simple.

And when you add in the impressive sales performances by Hyundai and Volkswagen, it’s even harder to ignore that television played more than just a casual role in success of all three auto makers.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Source:  TNS Media Intelligence/Automotive News



Do “Attack Ads” Work in Retail TV Advertising?

November 5, 2009

Compared to political campaign ads, retailers have been cautious about using negative TV ads to badmouth their competitors.  A recent Adweek/Harris Poll indicates such caution is well founded.

As the chart shows, people have a predisposition to think worse of the brand making the attack than the brand that is the target.  

Graph for Post #38One caveat:  Though people routinely claim to dislike attack ads in politics, the results on Election Day often suggest those ads have worked.  So, consumers may be less averse than they say to TV advertising that goes negative on the competition.



TV Still the Mass Media Champion – Just Ask a Politician

November 2, 2009

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It seems that when it comes to high-stakes political campaigns, where every dollar has to count, politicians are still turning to what has always worked for them – television advertising.

Wells Fargo Senior Analyst, Marci Ryvicker predicts that $3.3 billion will be spent in political and issue advertising in 2010 – with 67% of every dollar spent going to television.

Here are her projections for the entire advertising industry for the 2010 Political season:

Medium                       Projected Ad Spending                       % of Total

Television                    $2.2 billion                                           67%

Direct Mail                   $650 million                                         20%

Radio                           $228 million                                         6%

Newspaper                  $95 million                                           3%

Outdoor                       $55 million                                           2%

Internet                        $50 million                                           2%

I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.  


TV Advertising Builds Brands that Last

October 27, 2009

Picture for Post #35

Let’s just cut to the chase? As it stands today, TV advertising builds brands. Internet advertising does not. There’s little doubt that once a brand is established, the Internet can and does keep the momentum moving forward, but until that point is reached all the banner ads and twitter tweets will do little to ingrain your brand into the psyche of the consumer.

Creating a memorable brand requires more than getting people to talk about your product on a social network. It requires the advertiser to make an emotional connection that television does so well.  Do you honestly think Nike would be the #1 sports brand if it wasn’t for television advertising?  Or would you feel the same connection with a little known insurance company if their AFLAC-ing duck never made its way onto your television screen? 

Sure technology has changed, but the basic rules of effective marketing remain the same. You still need reach and frequency to create most truly memorable brands.  And television advertising delivers both better than anything else out there.

Television has a rich history of transforming everyday companies into household names.  From packaged goods to insurance, from fast food to tires – television has been responsible for creating some of the most memorable advertising icons.

Who can forget …

The Energizer Bunny … Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes … Joe Isuzu … Tony The Tiger … The Michelin Man … Mr. Whipple … Dave Thomas … Mr. Peanut … The Keebler Elves … The Maytag Repairman … The Geico Gecko … Charlie The Tuna … Ronald McDonald … Mrs. Olsen … Jared from Subway … Clara “Where’s the Beef” Peller … Orville Redenbacher … The Marlboro Man …Colonel Sanders … Pillsbury Doughboy … Chef Boyardee … The AFLAC Duck … The California Raisins … Morris the Cat … The Quaker Oats Man … The Green Giant … Juan Valdez … The Doublemint Twins … The Budweiser Frogs … Rosie, The Bounty quicker picker upper … Aunt Jemima … Mr. Clean … The Verizon Wireless “Can You Hear Me Now” Man … Betty Crocker … The Lucky Charms Elf … The Geico Cavemen

Now, recall just one advertising icon or brand that wasn’t first introduced to you on television.

I’ll wait …


TV Advertising Share of Pie to Grow in 2010/11

October 23, 2009

Picture for Post #34

After a dismal 2009 for the ad industry, television should actually grow its overall share of the advertising revenue pie over the next couple of years. This coming from the ZenithOptimedia Groups report on the outlook on advertising in the U.S. marketplace.

According to the report, domestic ad spending in general will decline 12.9% this year and will erode another 4.4% in 2010.  But prospects for TV are a lot more encouraging. 

The agency expects television to return to growth next year.  In 2009 it is expected to take 39.3% of all ad revenues and increase to 39.7% and 39.9% in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

So let me get this right, with all the advertising choices out there – traditional and digital – television’s share of the pie is getting bigger not smaller?  How can this be?

The only explanation I can think of is that despite the talk of paradigm shifts and the world’s fascination with anything digital – there’s still enough advertisers, big and small, who are more persuaded by results than hype.

And at the end of the day folks – what else matters?



No Surprise Here: TV Content is Still Watched on TV

October 23, 2009

Picture for Post #33A new report by research Horowitz Associates, that surveyed 800 nationwide multichannel TV customers, reveals that only 2% (or two hours per month) of all TV viewing in the U.S. comes from non-traditional TV devices. That means that the majority of people still prefer watching their favorite
                                                       programs the good old fashion way.

According to Horowitz, the 2% represents two hours of the 130.2 overall hours that U.S. TV viewers watch in a month.

But when consumers do watch online, the #1 device for non-traditional TV viewing is the laptop. The top video viewing websites are:

  • YouTube

The top types of programs watched on alternative video platforms are:

  • scripted dramas 24%
  • news programming 14%
  • comedy shows 13%
  • sports 13%
  • sitcoms 11%

Horowitz says that of those surveyed, over one-third (36%) wish all their favorite shows were available online; another 30% wish all TV shows were available on handheld devices.

A smaller number of TV viewers (7%) said that if all or most TV programs were available on their computer, they would get rid of their TV service.

The majority, however, still prefer traditional TV viewing. Eight in 10 (79%) say they prefer to watch TV shows on a TV versus a computer or handheld device.



The Big Screen Still Turns to the Little Screen for Results

October 1, 2009

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Even with 86% of all movie goers venturing online everyday, most first learn of new movies the old-fashioned way: TV Commercials and in-theater trailers.  No, not banner ads, not YouTube, not even Twitter polled higher than television.


Out of 3,850 movie goers who were surveyed – 73% said that they first gain awareness of new releases from TV commercials, followed by 70% from in-theater trailers.

Word-of-mouth followed at 46%, and the Internet at 44%.

What makes these numbers even more interesting is that 73% of the movie goers surveyed use social networking sites.

Good news for the much maligned TV industry and not so good news for those who would have us believe that the Internet and social media are just a tweet away from replacing traditional advertising.

Read Entire AdWeek Article



Traditional TV Still Far Ahead of Internet & Mobile Viewing

September 28, 2009

Picture for Post #30The latest Three Screen Report from Nielsen finds there is again another jump in viewing done over the Internet. And to the surprise of some, traditional television viewing also continues to grow. However, the report notes a slight decrease for watching video on mobile devices.

“Although we have seen the computer and mobile phone screens taking on a significant role, their emergence has not been at the cost of TV viewership,” Nielsen’s Jim O’Hara commented.  “The entire media universe is expanding so consumers are choosing to add elements to their media experience, rather than to replace them.”

In the second quarter of 2009, the monthly time spent watching TV in the home by each user reached 141 hours and 3 minutes, up from 139:00 a year ago. 

People who watch video on the Internet averaged 3 hours and 11 minutes compared to 2:02 last year.

However, the monthly time spent watching video on mobile phones was actually lower than a year ago … down from 3 hours and 37 minutes to 3:15.

Is it any surprise that major retailers still turn to traditional TV to reach the masses?  People spend more time with television in just two days than they spend all month long watching video on the Internet and mobile phones combined.

And when it comes to critical mass, TV continues to lead the way in a big way.  While Internet and mobile viewing are showing growth over previous years, numbers that do so are still relatively small, especially for mobile viewing.

Nielsen finds that 284.4 million Americans watched some TV in their homes during the second quarter.  Less than half of them (about 134 million) watched some video on the Internet, while only 15.3 million watched video on mobile phones.



Retail TV and Your Website: Work Best When They Work Together

September 17, 2009

Picture for Post #24All too often I’m asked the question from retailers on where they should be investing their ad dollars:  TV or the Internet.  Folks this is not zero sum proposition.   If you’re not doing both – then you’re missing the boat.


 The formula for success is relatively simple, in my opinion:

  • Use TV advertising to engage, entice and persuade consumers to get more information about your product or service from your website. 
  • Once on your site, inform, educate and sell them on doing business with your company – either online or in person. 

Of course, if you’re product requires little explanation … then it’s plausible that prospects can and will respond to your TV offer with little need for a website visit.  But, don’t fool yourself, if you’re anything less than a household name (i.e. McDonald’s or Coke), potential customers will most likely want to check you out on the web before walking through your door.  And they better like what they see – within 5 seconds or they’ll exit your website immediately.

Believe it or not, even in the midst of today’s Internet explosion, there are still some retailers that don’t get it. I recently had a furniture store chain client whose only web presence was a simple splash page that included nothing more than store hours and addresses.  The client did not have a website.  And the really sad part – there was no hurry to get one.

The client’s explanation defied logic.  There was concern that people would judge the client by the website and then decide not to shop at the stores. No amount of pleading and prodding could convince the client to look at both the storefronts and website as one in the same.

Your company’s website should be a reflection of the experience customers get when they shop your stores.  It should be intuitive, interactive and INTERESTING. That’s the point my dear furniture retailer did not understand. 

A ton of TV spots won’t help if consumers become disenchanted when they land on your website.  

Despite the naysayers, people are still influenced by what they see on TV, but today they require more than just a 30-second commercial to help close the deal.  Make sure you’re giving it to them with an easy-to-navigate website that is more than an online company brochure. 

Remember:  “No media is an island.”



Retail TV Advertising in Local Newscasts is More Engaging

August 28, 2009

TV commercials that appear in local newscasts are the most engaging, Picture for Post #15according to a recent study conducted for Hearst-Argyle Television by researcher Frank N. Magid Associates.

Speaking at the annual Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Conference in New York, Hearst-Argyle CEO David Barrett pointed out that local TV newscasts are more “DVR proof” than other broadcasts because viewers tend to watch the local news live and therefore are not as likely to fast forward through the commercials.

The study also found that viewers were more engaged with ads in local newscasts than with radio (72% compared to 28%) newspaper (64% compared to 36%), direct mail (55% to 45%) and magazines (57% versus 43%).  

Survey results also showed that 47% of the 2,500 respondents said local TV news was “my most important source of information in my community.” That figure was the same for newspaper, but topped Web sites (30%) and radio (17%).

Hearst-Argyle operates 29 TV stations from coast to coast, reaching 18% of U.S. Homes.