Is Your TV Commercial Falling on Deaf Ears?

June 21, 2010

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.

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Study Says DVR Hasn’t Changed Ad Effectiveness

May 10, 2010

95% STILL WATCH PROGRAMMING LIVE 

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.

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It’s the Creative Stupid!

April 29, 2010

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?

What would your reaction be?  

Remember, pedestrian creative produces pedestrian results. 

TV will continue to deliver excellent ROI, but only for those retailers willing to step out of their comfort zones.

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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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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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