A new report from the Association of National Advertisers shows that nearly half of the marketers polled in a survey this summer have increased television advertising budgets since 2009.
On one level, those results make sense, given that in 2009 a severe recession impacted the global economy and budgets across most media were cut back. Spending in the upfront that year was down 20% by some estimates. Most of that spending decline returned the following year.
At the same time, however, the ANA has done a number of surveys in recent years that indicate marketers believe less in the effectiveness of TV advertising. Last year for example, in a study done in conjunction with Forrester Research, 62% percent of the companies polled said TV ads have become less effective in the past two years, due to increased advertising clutter.
Two years before that, in 2008, the ANA conducted a similar survey with the same result: 62% of the respondents said TV advertising had become less effective over the two prior years. On one hand, marketers believe that the trend over at least the last five years is that TV ads have become less effective. At the same time, it appears that most marketers accept this as a fact they can’t change, given that half have upped their budgets. Another 30%, said they have left them flat.
Why are marketers spending more (or the same) on a medium they believe is becoming less effective over time? Why not shift those dollars to more effective media?
Here’s the response from ANA executive vice president Bill Duggan: “A lot of traditional reasons still hold, notably the ability to build mass reach quickly. There was much chatter in the past about the television medium and 30-second spot being dead, but this survey has shown that TV advertising is very much alive, perhaps even more so than in the past," Duggan said.
"Even with the risk of competition from other media platforms and the use of DVRs, there are still many opportunities for marketers to optimize TV into their marketing mix," he added.
Part of the answer may also be that marketers don’t know where else to turn for more effective media. Print? Not likely. A study issued earlier this month from the ANA shows that marketers are also generally less impressed than they once were with the effectiveness of digital media.
According to that report, online ads, search engine marketing and optimization, and viral video were perceived to be less effective now than two years ago. Only social and mobile advertising, the digital darlings of the moment, were perceived to be more effective.
The ANA TV survey was conducted online during July and August of 2011, and polled 135 client-side marketers.