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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
TV advertising is not going anywhere, just evolving. It’s always been about getting consumers to act, and incorporating the use of today’s smartphone applications is the newest way to bring more
impact to your TV commercials.
According to a study done by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), in 2010, 33% of U.S. households owned a smartphone. With that number estimated to skyrocket to 45% by 2012, advertisers are already starting to adopt the use of mobile applications in their TV campaigns.
Brands like Tide® and Old Navy® have recently integrated the music identification application, Shazam® into current TV commercials. It’s simple too, no typing in long URLs or performing lengthy Google searches. The commercials feature songs, so all the consumer has to do is open up the Shazam® application and let it identify the song playing in the ad. From there they will have options to go straight to that brand’s website, purchase product, etc. With the Old Navy® ad you even have the option to buy the outfit the person is wearing in the ad!
This new trend will not only make TV ads more interactive for consumers, but allow advertisers to more accurately measure the performance of the ads while tracking TV conversions.
Integrating mobile apps into your TV advertisements works well all around – the consumer gets to interact with the ad while the advertisers are able to more easily direct traffic to brands’ websites. Shazam® is just the beginning; as this advertising tactic grows, the variety of applications available for integration will most likely grow as well.
Over the past couple of years 3D technology has begun to make its way into American homes. With an increasing number of 3D movies and games becoming available, advertisers might want to consider 3D television ads within the next few years.
According to Chief Marketing Officer and General Management executive, Randall Beard and a late 2010 study conducted by Nielsen/ Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Research Study, 48% of consumers said they were more engaged by watching 3D programming. It would seem only reasonable to expect that this heightened level of engagement will carry over to commercials produced in 3D.
Beard states that 3D ads have the potential to have more of an impact on your audience than 2D for a variety of reasons:
1. 3D is automatically more immersive, making it probable that ads will be more effective.
2. 3D’s current technology requires the use of special glasses, which means if a person is watching TV in 3D they are invested in what they are watching, making them less prone to distractions and more apt to retain the messages in your ad.
3. Neural research shows that TV is #1 when it comes to communicating emotions, when compared to PC or Mobile platforms. The 3D feature would only amplify any emotion or action driven ad.
With only a couple of 3D ads produced so far, the attention grabbing novelty is still ripe for advertisers. However, like every new technology, it will take 3D some time to completely penetrate the market. So don’t rush off to buy your 3D glasses just yet, but sure keep it in mind. It just might be the next big thing.
80% of TV Viewing is still in Standard Definition.
Although 56% of homes in the U.S. now have a HDTV, only 20% of TV viewing is being done in high definition, according to the Nielsen Company.
Few Ads are in HD.
TV networks may be moving quickly on developing HD programming, but advertisers are far behind. A new study from Extreme Reach, says just 13% of all TV commercials that ran in 2010 were produced in high definition.
People do more than watch TV while watching TV.
A study of over 8,000 people from Nielsen and Yahoo recently discovered that 86% of mobile Internet users play around on their devices (smartphones, iPads, etc.) while watching the tube. It seems that Googling random facts, checking their Facebook news feed and checking their Twitter account were atop the list of activities to do while watching TV. A bit of good news for advertisers: 20% confessed to search for more information about a commercial they recently saw.
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.
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.