The trend has made targeting the message even more important, as consumers split their time between TV, Internet, mobile and print. Ad and marketing gurus looking for an alternative could find an opt-in method a less invasive and more relevant model.
The opt-in model would rely on dynamically inserting messages into the media content based on programming and consumer profile, says Saul Berman, IBM Media & Entertainment Strategy and Change practice leader. "We'll see user-generated ads, and more melding of advertising and content, such as infomercials, where advertising takes on more of a story. Content will become more interactive as the Internet becomes available on the TV."
IBM sees advertising agencies taking a more creative role to become brokers. Cable companies will evolve into home media portals. Broadcasters and publishers will move toward new media formats. Marketers, in turn, are being forced to experiment and make advertising more compelling, or risk being ignored.
But most consumers have come to the conclusion that nothing is free. A study released Wednesday by IBM Global Business Services, "U.S. Consumer Research Digital Entertainment & Media," suggests that 63% of the 888 U.S. adults surveyed would watch advertising before or after quality free content. This compares with 28% who would pay a small free to have ad-free content, 6% who would pay the equivalent of a DVD to eliminate ads, and 3% who want only free content.
IBM's survey also found consumers were more reluctant to accept advertising in video on mobile devices, with 46% admitting they would watch ads before or after free content, followed by 25% who would not watch mobile advertisements or pay for mobile video and 18% agreeing to pay a few dollars per month for quality ad-free content.
Online exchanges like NextMedium have emerged to allow movie and TV producers to source product placement for computers, cellular phones, orange juice, cereal and more. To attract consumers to the brand, marketers should dedicate nearly 4% of their ad spend to product placement and brand integration, according to Hamet Watt, founder and chairman of NextMedium, an online exchange that matches advertisers with media.
"Once TV makes the move to all digital, we'll see an arms race to develop technology that hides advertising in the content, so DVRs can't detect the commercial breaks in programming," says Ed Moran, director of Product Innovation Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group, Deloitte Services LP. "We're also seeing more advertising in programming, as well as brands sponsoring an entire show, similar to soap operas."