TV Advertising Pays Dividends NOW

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

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America Speaks Out on Nike’s Latest TV Commercial

April 14, 2010

While many Madison Avenue executives are slobbering  praise over Nike’s latest controversial commercial featuring a somber Tiger Woods as he is reprimanded by the voice of his deceased father – main street America’s is responding much differently.

An online poll of 600 Americans by Flemington-based HCD Research shows that the favorable opinion of the Nike Brand dropped from 92% to 79% after watching the commercial.  With 29% of the viewers saying they were less likely to buy products endorsed by Woods after viewing the creepy commercial.

I’m not surprised with these poll results.  It is Nike’s pathetic attempt to capitalize on the reprehensible behavior of another athlete pitch man gone bad. 

A Nike spokesman, reading from a statement, said “The ad addresses his (Tigers) time away from the game, using the powerful words of his father.”  Really?

He neglected to say that those “powerful words” were carefully taken out of context from a 2004 interview that had absolutely nothing to do with the current situation.

A well-crafted, edgy commercial … too bad it didn’t fool the people who really count – the consumers.  

After a series of controversial commercials over the years, I think Nike may come to regret this one.  I know I have.

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Do the new American Signature Commercials match the brand?

February 25, 2010

So I’ve been seeing the new TV Campaign for American Signature Furniture — actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them run TV before this year. I have my opinion, but I want to hear yours.

First watch their commercials via their Facebook Page

(afterwards, make sure you don’t click out of the window and instead CLICK BACK to my blog):

American Signature Facebook

Second, click on the following link to take the poll:Do the new American Signature Furniture commercials match their brand?

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TV Advertising – Stronger Than Ever

February 25, 2010

Everyone is selling something.  As soon as you realize this simple fact, the sooner you’ll be able to see through the “TV is Dead” smoke screen perpetrated by those who are, yes “selling” digital services.

Most new media folks are like the partisan politician who is unwavering in his position even when the facts prove otherwise. It’s the classic “if I say it long enough … it must be true” approach.

 Well, they can stick to their “TV is so yesterday” talking points, but the facts just don’t add up. 

TV is stronger than ever. This, according to the largest privately-owned, full-service direct response media agency in the country. And TV is not losing its luster.

The Senior Director, Research & Analytics at Mercury Media, Michael Goodman says, “Rather than cannibalize traditional television, emerging video platforms, like Hulu, cable VOD and FLO TV, are supplementing viewership and creating new revenue streams for programmers.”

“Television advertising is not dying,” said Goodman.

Rather than fragmenting the marketplace, emerging video platforms like broadband and mobile TV are acting as audience multipliers.” Goodman points to innovations like Addressable TV, TV Everywhere and Interactive TV as leading the evolution toward “a harmonious video delivery ecosystem.”

Among Goodman’s top findings are: TV is still the #1 screen. Television viewership remains at hundreds of hours per month, while viewership of broadband and mobile video remains in the low single digits.

“It is reckless to proclaim that any great revolution is taking place”, says Mercury.

In 2Q 2009, watching TV in the home accounted for 77% of screen time among consumers age 2+, up 1.5% year-over-year.

So there you have it. Yet more information that dispels what the new media folks would have you to believe on the state of television.  But it won’t stop them though … they’re armed with one heck of a sales pitch, just not the facts.

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2010 Super Bowl TV Commercials

February 9, 2010

Did you miss one of the Super Bowl ads? Or can you not stop watching certain ones over-and-over?  Ad Age did a nice job gathering them all up for your viewing pleasure. Watch and share them as frequently as you like. CLICK HERE to be redirected to Ad Age to see them all now.

ENJOY (again)!

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Four Favorite 2009 Holiday TV Commercials

January 8, 2010

The 2009 holiday season didn’t  produce many good or effective TV commercials.  But, there were a few standouts. 

Below are 4 of my favorites (other than my clients, of course):

Target/Marshalls

iPhone

Hersey’s Kisses

(one of the few recycled commercials that is memorable)

Dell

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The Five Worst Local TV Commercials!

December 29, 2009

This is not my list, but I’m not sure I could do a much better job picking out such horrendous commercials. Sit back and enjoy … I mean cringe.

 

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Americans Spending Even More Time with TV

December 16, 2009

TV Remains “Most Influential Ad Medium for 2009”

A year dramatically impacted by the economic recession has influenced consumers to return to watching television over other types of entertainment. Deloitte’s 2009 “State of the Media Democracy” survey reveals a 26% increase in the number of Americans choosing the TV as their favorite type of media as compared to the previous year.

More than 70% of survey respondents rank TV their top three favorite media activities. Additionally, when ranked alongside other activities like surfing the Web, listening to music or reading, 34% of consumers still place TV at the top. This is a substantial increase from last year and more than double the percent of the number two choice, which is the Internet that came in at 14%.

When watching their favorite TV programming, 86% of survey respondents prefer watching on their television set, enjoying the programming either live, via a DVR/TiVo or using an “On Demand” feature. While less than 10% of Americans say they prefer watching the same content online, it is a growing trend.

Hours Spent with TV:

  • Nearly 18 hours of television programming is spent on TV in a typical seven day week – up notably from less than 16 hours last year.
  • Millennials (ages 14-26) had the largest increase, to almost 15 hours from 10.5 hours.
  • 72% of Americans say they have been forced to reduce their purchases of other entertainment products including movies, concerts, sporting events, DVDs, CDs and videogames.

Besides TV viewing, the survey supports the culmination of the game console as a stand-alone media platform and the mobile phone’s rapid decoupling of the Internet from the desktop and the rise of tribal marketing.

But, nevertheless, television continues to reign as the most influential advertising medium, with 83% of consumers identifying TV advertising as one of the top three media with the most impact on their buying decisions. Online advertising ranks much lower in impact than television.

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TV Advertising Leading Retailers Out of Recession

December 3, 2009

After taking a beating the for the last two years, traditional media companies, especially TV networks, appear to be leading the way out of the longest and most severe recession in 70 years. This according to a recent L.A. Times article.

TV networks like Fox, CBS, ABC, TNT, TBS, USA and Fox News – have benefited the most as retail advertisers snap up all available commercial spots and doing so by paying much higher rates than they did just five months ago.

Here’s how David Levy of Turner Networks sums it up:

“In challenging times, people go back to what they know, and what they know best is television.”

I think it goes a bit further than that. In tough economic times, retail advertisers can ill afford to speculate on what may work, so they gravitate to what they know works. 

Could be why many retailers are no longer as eager to buy Internet display ads as they were two or three years ago, when companies were steering million of ad dollars to online sites.

“There is still a big push toward digital and online video, but the Internet display advertising market is challenged,” said Greg Kahn, senior vice president of strategic in sights at Optimedia. “There is so much clutter in the space, and advertisers have begun to question the effectiveness of those online display ads.”

Really? Banner ads don’t work. Advertisers still prefer TV. Boy, don’t you just hate it when reality gets in the way of a good new media propaganda campaign?

Kinda like what those leaked emails have done for the global warming debate.

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TV Media Buying 101

November 24, 2009

With increasing fragmentation, buying television advertising is becoming more and more challenging.   

Here are a few things you should know before getting started:

1) Focus on Gross Rating Points, not number of spots
Experienced buyers don’t focus on how many spots they can buy. Instead, they concentrate on market exposure – measured by the number of gross rating points (GRPs) a media schedule delivers to the target demographic. What use is a boatload of commercials, if nobody’s watching?

2) Don’t Pay too Much
Most professional buyers consider cost efficiency their highest goal. Their focus is simple: reach the most people in their target with the greatest frequency possible at the lowest cost – all while staying on budget. In order to do this, they must master cost per point negotiations, which varies by market. If you’re new to cost per point buying, the SQAD Media Market Guide is a good place to start.  This quarterly publication provides media buyers with average cost per point estimates for all 210 DMAs (designated market areas) in the U.S. 

3) Understand Reach and Frequency
It’s important to get a handle on acceptable reach and frequency numbers for your industry. In other words, how many people in your target audience will see your commercial (reach), and how many times will they see it (frequency). If your weekly reach and frequency numbers are inadequate then results will suffer.  Generally speaking, retailers should aim for a minimum 60% reach and 2.0X frequency.

4) Think Demographics and Psychographics
Few products appeal to everyone. Smart media buyers zero in on target audiences who are most likely to buy their product. They consider age, sex and lifestyle habits and then carefully select programs that attract the right consumer. In the age of 400+ television stations, knowing what your customer is watching is vital to your success. Both Scarborough and Media Audit are good resources that will help you zero in on your customers’ media consumption habits.

One final note: think twice before handing over your media buying to an administrative assistant. Either hire an in-house professional media buyer or an ad agency.  Media buying requires a skill set that requires years of experience to do right. And a very short time to do wrong.

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