In an analysis of television ads across all product categories, Nielsen found that in general, live action ads were more effective than animated ads.
For all major categories, live action ads scored 22% higher than animated-only ads in Brand Recall — which is the percentage of TV viewers who can recall the commercial and its adverted brand 24 hour after viewing it.
Live action creatives were more effective than animated ads across all major demographics as well. While live action ads resonated equally among both genders, Brand Recall was 27% stronger for females and 17% stronger among males than for animated ads.
Adults 35 to 49 saw a 24% increase in brand recall for ads that used live action vs. animated. The gap did shrink among viewers aged 13-35, who only showed an 11% change between live action and animated creatives.
When looking at consumer packaged goods specifically, ads in the personal care category appeared to struggle the most when using animation. For certain personal care products, brand recall was twice as high among spots using live action vs. an animated theme.
A recent survey of Chief Marketing Officers has reinforced what everyone should already know: TV still works, but not by itself.
In a panel discussion hosted by Fast Company, CMOs all across the U.S., agreed almost unanimously that television advertising is still an important part of their marketing strategies and won’t be going away anytime soon.
However, with the changing times, comes changing strategies. No longer can any retailer rely solely on television to save the day.
While TV advertising remains, in my opinion, the single best way to raise brand awareness and pique interest … it must be supported by a vibrant online presence. With more and more pre-purchase research being done online, it’s just plain foolish not to be using TV to steer consumers to your website.
The best TV advertising now integrates online and social media elements, driving consumers to branded web destinations where consumers can actually interact and experience the brand.
This commercial is a good example of how Best Buy is using TV to get people to their website. A website, by the way, that gets nearly a billion hits a year!
Today’s winners are companies, like Best Buy, that understand that in order to compete, they must deliver on both fronts – Offline (TV) and Online.
Like it or not, the genie is out of the bottle. The way consumers interact with brands today has changed – have you?
In an industry that’s driving money into social media and other communication platforms Joel Ewanick, the head of marketing for General Motors, believes some of the best campaigns still begin with Television.
“I love television,” he said. “(Some) people say television is dead, it is not dead. It drives a lot of traffic.”
In July, approximately two months after Ewanick joined GM, the company aired its first Chevy Corvette TV commercial in five years. The spot, titled “Still Building Rockets,” contrasts NASA scientists developing and launching space rockets with a Corvette being built and burning rubber on a test track.
According to Ewanick, Chevrolet will unveil a Silverado pickup TV campaign in October, which features the good-natured teasing that occurs when Silverado owners visit with owners of other brands. Additionally, GM will be returning to run Super Bowl advertising in February.
Ewanick believes TV remains a key medium for selling and driving traffic to dealer websites. According to Automotive News, Ewanick – who spent about the past three years as Hyundai Motor America’s marketing chief – said he likes the current Hyundai “Uncensored” campaign. In it, Hyundai test drivers give straightforward opinions about how they feel behind the wheel of the vehicles.
“That campaign began on TV then moved to Facebook and other social media sites to continue a lively dialogue for Hyundai owners and others,” Ewanick said.
That’s a good model for how a campaign can launch on TV and expand into other media, he added.
It’s important to remember that commercials should be written by copywriters, not mystery writers. Yes, they can be clever and artsy, but a commercial’s main objective is to sell a product or service.
A recent Adweek Media/Harris Poll of 2,163 adults found that 21% often found TV commercials confusing with just 14% reporting that they never find commercials confusing.
Boring, mundane … I can accept, but confusing?? In this new economy where every dollar must work harder than ever, advertisers can little afford to leave 21% of the audience in the dark on what they hope to be selling them.
If consumers watching these commercials are unsure of the main focus of the message, do you think that might be a problem?
TV commercials need to be entertaining and informative. Unfortunately, as this survey proves, there are too many agency creatives who apparently would rather be writing an episode for Lost then selling the products that pay their salaries.
It’s a fact, in these trying economic times; people are cutting back on purchases. Advertisers (and the agencies that work for them) need to do everything possible to convince consumers that their product is worthy of consideration.
According to a recent study, the emotional brain reacts immediately to input and is much faster when making decisions than the rational brain.
That’s why when someone says to you, “you’re allowing your emotions to cloud your judgment,” they could be on to something…
Dr. Robert Heath, from the University of Bath’s School of Management, found that television ads with high levels of emotional content enhanced how people felt about brands, even when those ads were lacking product information. On the other hand, ads which were low on emotional content had no effect on how favorable the public felt towards brands, even if the ads were high in news and information.
Emotional warmth or lack of it determines a brand perception. If consumers are “warm” to your brand, it is much easier to get their attention, as they are more open to listening, seeing and absorbing new information. If they are neutral or distant about your brand, it’s more difficult to influence them and the advertising needs to work harder.
So the next time you’re tempted to add just one more copy point into your 30-second commercial, remember it’s not what you say, but the way you say it, that gets results.
Does the old-school formula of traditional TV advertising still work in this day of digital overload? I guess it depends on who you ask. But from my perspective, it’s still a vital component when bringing new products and services to market. It’s definitely not the only thing necessary for customer conversion, but it remains – in many cases – the launching pad for a brand’s success.
Let me provide you with a recent, real life situation that illustrates this point.
In the market for a new LCD television, I got in the car the other day and headed to my local Best Buy. As I do with most big purchases, my objective was not to purchase a new television at this time, but to check them out first and then go home to conduct my research online before making a final decision. The brands in consideration: Samsung, Panasonic and a brand I never considered before – Sharp.
Why consider Sharp, a brand never before on my radar? For starters, their new TV commercials featuring George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek fame) are superbly done. The campaign does a great job differentiating the Sharp Aquos LCD Television from every other TV out in the market today. Whether Sharp’s “Quad Pixel Technology” produces a better picture than the competitions is up for debate. What’s not debatable is how these commercials convinced me to consider a brand never before on my consideration set.
The commercials are smart. They clearly outline a strong USP. And they hammer it home in a way that’s persuasive and believable. After being exposed to these messages for a few weeks, how could I not check out the Sharp Aquos?
So here I am in Best Buy. And when I mentioned to the sales associate that I want to see the Sharp Aquos, he’s not surprised. It appears a lot of other folks have also been moved into action by the same TV campaign with its clever positioning statement, “You have to see it, to see it.”
I don’t know if I’ll settle on the Sharp Aquos. What I do know is that I’m considering one because of the power of a few well-concepted, well-executed and well-placed TV commercials that grabbed my attention and piqued my interest.
So at the end of the day, whether traditional TV advertising is now considered old-school, or not, is really irrelevant to me. What’s relevant to me (and should be to you) is that it still gets results.
It seems people are beginning to change their tune on the demise of TV advertising. According to a June article in Advertising Age, auto advertisers are back and apparently they have brought some new advertisers with them, “charging in and sucking up all the available inventory.”
“I think there might be a re-examination of television,” Ed Atorino, a media analyst at Benchmark Co. told the magazine.
Apparently this re-examination has uncovered the value of targeting a large-scale television audience that can’t be found elsewhere. For the many advertisers who still rely on the masses to keep their doors open, the need still exists to reach lots of people – cost efficiently. A feat that remains hard to accomplish exclusively with digital-savvy customers who hop along a myriad of websites, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages.
TV may look dowdy compared to a lot of the new technology taking center stage, but its intrinsic power has proven hard to beat.
Two new studies add more proof that TV advertising is challenging today’s popular wisdom. Pricewaterhouse Coopers projects ad spending on total U.S. TV will grow to 80.3 billion in 2014 from 62.1 billion in 2009, surpassing its previous high in 2006 of nearly $70 billion. Meanwhile, Interpublic Groups Magna Global media research unit sees TV’s share of total media dollars growing to 36.8% in 2015 from 35.9% in 2009.
TV still has it challenges ahead, but for now, when it comes to reach and impact – it still remains the only game in town.
Even while new devices like the iPad continue to drive simultaneous usage (people watching TV while they are online) there appears to be very little difference between people’s online usage habits when they’re watching TV and when they are not.
According to a new J.D. Power Study, people who use their computers while they watch TV tend to be doing the same things online as people who are not watching TV at the same time: email, chatting, shopping, etc.
Simultaneous use is a growing phenomenon: Nearly 40% of people use TV and the web simultaneously each week.
This means that your TV commercials have to work harder than ever before. For the first time, sound may take precedence over sight when engaging the consumer and ultimately determining a campaign’s success or failure.
Web-tasking consumers are simply ignoring commercials that don’t possess an audio hook. Do your company’s TV commercials have what it takes to get this ever growing segment to look up from their iPads and laptops? Or do your commercials sound like every other commercial in the break? How is your ad agency addressing this issue?
The time where visuals alone could carry the day is gone forever. Without the right audio strategy, your message could be falling on deaf ears.
According to a Duke University researcher, DVRs have not hurt television advertising or changed consumers’ buying behavior.
Some predicted earlier this decade that technology like TiVo and other digital video recorders – because they enable viewers to easily fast-forward through ads – would (eventually) kill television commercials.
However, Carl Mela, a professor in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, says that the ability to skip through the ads has had no effect on buying behavior and that not as many people fast-forward through television commercials as originally feared.
“Companies are afraid of a ‘TiVo effect’ and are changing their media spending as a result.” said Mela. “But we find no change in people’s shopping patterns when we compare a group that has TiVo with a group that doesn’t. The manufacturers’ fears seem to be overstated.”
Mela credits the lack of impact to several factors:
About 95% of people still watch television live and, as a result, cannot fast forward through the commercials.
Even those without a DVR can skip commercials by using the breaks to go to the kitchen or flip to another channel.
While viewers fast-forwarded through about 70% of the commercials in shows they recorded, they still watch the screen to know where to resume play, meaning they are still being exposed to the advertisements.
Ability to record a show and watch it later means consumers are watching more television.
The study included households with and without DVRs.
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?