Fear not, teens are still watching…

March 19, 2012

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.

Neither is imminent.

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TV Production Breakthrough: The Canon 5D

January 25, 2012

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.

Not anymore!

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?


Think Differently!

October 27, 2011

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.


All that glitters isn’t gold!

October 19, 2011

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 – 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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TV is Still the Biggest Cannon for Retail Marketers

August 11, 2009

artygun8TV is still the biggest cannon in the land” That’s what Steve Boal, the CEO of Coupons.com said when he launched his first TV campaign in the company’s 11-year history on August 1st.

The campaign features three humorous commercials that remind recession-strapped consumers that Coupons.com is the place to “Click. Print. Save.”

Based on testing with the company’s subsidiary online brands, Boal found that TV advertising proved “extremely cost effective.” (Imagine that.)  He even went a step further and credited the TV initiatives for “creating more brand affinity than their online initiatives.” (How can that be?)

“The response rate and the rate of return of those people who found out about us on TV was slightly higher than those who found out about us on the Internet,” said Boal. (Whoa! I’m speechless…this can’t be happening.)

Actually, it’s been happening for the last half century. Start off with a good product or service that people want, add in a dash of creativity, mix in the ultimate mass media platform and presto….you have the perfect recipe for what every advertiser is really searching for: Results.

Nothing takes a brand to the next level like TV. 

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