While eyeballs have been drifting away from television for years, spending on TV ads has continued to rise - until now.
For the first time since 2009, spending declined 1.5% last year to $70.2 billion, per eMarketer. By 2020, it’s expected to drop below
one-third of total media ad spend. Consumers want an uninterrupted experience in an on-demand era, and big brands are taking notice.
Under Armour, for instance, shifted its marketing budget from a 70/30 split between TV and digital ads to a 50/50 split for both.
The reason behind this sea change isn’t complicated: Social ads lead to a higher engagement rate between customers and the companies,
increasing communication, feedback and most importantly personalization.
Unlike TV advertising, which casts a wide,
generalized net, social ads help brands capitalize on relevant interests and make a genuine connection to customers who matter most.
So what does this mean for TV? Are we witnessing the last gasp of a dying medium or is there still hope?
In the 2011 film “Moneyball” GM Billy Beane comes up with a novel approach to competing with richer baseball clubs. Rather than trying to replace his best
players, Beane finds a way to “recreate them, in the aggregate.”
Television now finds itself in a similar
situation. The content that is produced by networks is transforming and organizations have been building new ways to share that content. Advertising will shift based on where the viewers are;
it’s up to TV to adapt to that changing, hyper-competitive landscape.
The key for TV is to fully embrace social
media’s approach to advertising. Social has become the predominant choice for advertisers because they have the tools and attribution. Creating short, compelling ads that are Twitter-friendly is
now the name of the game.
As a result, we’ll most likely start seeing more digital elements on TV. That
cross-pollination may even result in Twitter becoming the next big TV channel. Unlike other sites, Twitter can take advantage of live experiences in the moment.
People are going to Twitter to see what’s happening, which lends itself perfectly to things like sports viewing. This is an experience in
which people demand immediate content.
That immediacy is something that TV needs to take to heart with its ads. In
the past, organizations had the luxury of running a 30-second to 60-second spot that played like a short film, taking time to build before reaching a brand championing climax. Inert viewers were
forced wait patiently while the ad ran its course, regardless of quality.
Now, brands not only need to adhere to time
constraints, but also be more authentic. With less time to inject messaging, it’s vital to capture the hearts of viewers as soon as possible. Even If that spot is well executed, brands need to
remember the way people consume traditional TV is evolving.
Most individuals have a phone or tablet in their hands
while they watch, putting the onus on organizations to encourage viewers to continue the conversation online. The best brands consider second screens and attempt to incorporate them into their
When the Oakland A’s head scout confronted Billy Beane on his transformation of the player
evaluation system, he was met with three words “adapt or die.” TV is at a similar crossroads, but the future is bright.
Brands and agencies are looking at how they can create strategies that work across various mediums. Many are taking cues from the movie business, which is exceptional at
leveraging platforms, using TV commercials to send viewers to youTube, Tweeting about shows, etc.
Despite what some
may think, TV is still important. It just has to be willing to play ball.