the overblown death of tv advertising

I am a traditional ad guy and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Yes, I am interested in new media and the changing face of advertising and wouldn’t mind not doing traditional advertising forever, blah, blah, but I am sort of sick of hearing about the death of the thirty-second spot because, let’s face it, there is no better mass reach vehicle out there and even if there is a new tactic to replace television at the top of that pedestal, there will still be television advertising.

It just may not be the big budget top of the cake that it is now.

I am glad that someone else is thinking the same way that I am: TV isn’t dead yet.

It is as important for marketers to think ahead as it is for them to be effective right now, and if you want to be effective right now on a particular type of brand you will run away from TV at your own risk. And I am not just saying that because my job depends on it.

Television advertising, besides its reach, also gives a brand a certain institutional credibility not to mention a platform for telling a brand story to people other than loyalists. It may be replaced, it may be less of an emphasis, but it is still important.

People are so busy bashing it that they’re not thinking about how to use it in interesting ways. In Alan Wolk’s post he posits that most TV will be retail spots because TV is great for showing products, how they work and what they cost…so why have no big marketers gone into DRTV with high-production spots and a drive to an engaging website?

Just an example.

Again, advertising and marketing is more than TV, but hammering on about the death of the TV spot to the point that nobody is innovating in that space anymore is leaving a gaping hole for people who want to take a risk…even if that risk is with something as declasse at DRTV.

You never know, it (and crazy ideas like it) just may work.


7 responses to “the overblown death of tv advertising

  1. Thank god for this post. In reality, the only people who are saying TV is dead are people who aren’t doing TV.

    It reminds me of the vinyl/tape/cd/mp3 debate. Everyone’s rushing toward the digital future, but many people are forgetting that vinyl has a few special properties that nothing else does.

  2. I think TV advertising will be around for a long time. I do wonder how it will be different in say… 10-15 years. I bet it will all be “on-demand” and internet based. There will still be plenty of ways to work those ads in.

    And, if nothing else, us country bumpkins in the midwest will just be figuring out how to work our DVRs by then so tv ad guys don’t have to worry about that for awhile.

  3. James: I think most TV will be, as you say on-demand and internet based.
    And I suspect if you’re willing to pay for it, you’ll be able to watch that ad-free.

    But there will still be much live television: sporting events and news being the prime examples of things people want to watch live, rather than a day later. And those will likely have commercials in them for the reasons I laid out in the post DB references.

  4. I think it all comes down to metrics and analytics, which in times like these proving your advertising is effective and actually reaching your targeted consumer base, is a must. The one issue TV has, which digital does not, is that the metrics for the amount of people who will see your ad are rough estimates at best. Oops my cover is blown, looks like everyone now knows I a digital guy. Let me just this, I don’t see the death of TV any time soon. However in order to stay at the top lists of marketers as an important engagement vehicle in needs to become smarter.

  5. Just to give you internet metrics and analytics guys a little peek into the future; consider this: We’re about 2-years away from TV becoming a totally digital domain in its multiple delivery systems (Cable/Satellite). Then it’ll be real time, true audience measurement, addressable spot targeting down to the household level, interactive response capability, and “one button” product purchase capability. Add to that the quality factor of fiber optics and coax at full time HD1080 and the internet will be back to playing catch-up again.

  6. Pingback: Marketing Blog » Blog Archive » tuned in minority

  7. Pingback: tuned in minority « Chris Houchens

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