U.S. Navy Weighs Anchor, Lands In Digital Waters

Land ho! The U.S. Navy is coming ashore -- leaving the rough seas of traditional TV advertising behind.

The U.S. Navy is moving all of its marketing efforts to digital/online media, including a major sports sponsorship around esports/video gaming. The Navy claims that's where all the potential 17 to 28 years olds are hanging out, according to one report.

Currently, the Navy had been spending about half its annual advertising budget on TV. But it now believes esports and well as other online advertising -- especially on YouTube -- is a dominant place where young males are spending their time. (No doubt those growing video gaming users might be lured to some real-world screen action -- military-speaking.)

In 2020, the Navy will spend nearly $33 million -- virtually all online, with a small piece going to to billboard and radio ads. Adm. Robert Burke, vice chief of naval operations for the U.S. Navy, says young men are “not watching TV” any longer.



Well, not exactly.

Research has shown that while this demo isn't watching the four to five hours a week overall adults are, some research indicates young adults still view a substantial two to three hours a week. So, while trimming back on traditional TV advertising is probably prudent, going to virtually zero in traditional TV may be drastic.

One wonders how other mid-level TV marketers with the same young male target are doing here, and what traditional TV networks, TV stations, national and local cable channels are doing to keep those dollars in-house.

Is this an area addressable TV advertising -- though more costly initially -- can help?

The addressable TV promise is about solving just this kind of problem. Snowboarding marketers, videogame advertisers, young-male skewing movie marketers and other advertisers no doubt have similar stories to tell.

Where are the calmer, more predictable marketing waters?

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