TV Is The Worst (And The Best) Advertising Medium
The world is slowly showing signs of normalcy, and as we move toward summer, we may also watch less content on the big screen in our homes. During the height of the pandemic, we gobbled up mountains of content across streamers, on-demand, on CTV, and what not. But it’s likely this trend will be affected going forward by all of us going outside, maskless and fearless, empowered by being vaccinated and knowing one in two adults (roughly) are, too.
The smallest of screens, our phones, are probably least affected as a result. Always on and always there, the phone will continue to serve as the go-to drug to fill any short void in our daily lives with a video snack.
The biggest of screens, cinemas, might see a form of revival because of the pent-up demand to enjoy movies with all the impact of big-screen sound and vision, fueled by a number of potential blockbusters held back for when the world would arrive to the point where we now (almost) are.
But that big screen in your living room and/or bedroom, coupled with all the streaming options you signed up for? Well, that may see some downtime.
Ratings have already plunged, and not just for former ratings champions like the Oscars. Sports is down, as are most regularly screened TV shows. Streaming and CTV have massively grown in share and attention, as well as share of spend on all these services.
Meanwhile, we are entering the upfronts, where the ratings are down and the prices are up. Whaaaaat? That’s right, TV remains the one medium where you get less for more every year, guaranteed. First that was defended by changing the program ratings to a rating+3, adding the additional viewers from the first three days after the original broadcast. Then that became a rating+7.
And now nobody knows exactly how to defend the ratings decline and price increase anymore. So the argument is rightly shifting to where it should have been all along, which is dissecting TV’s effectiveness versus all those other screen options.
It’s here that TV continues to outshine most everything else. Per a new summary document prepared by The Global TV Group, TV clearly demonstrates its superior effectiveness. From study after study across the world, from Australia to the U.K. to Germany to the U.S., TV is found to be more effective, driving better ROI, higher short-term and long-term sales, brand effectiveness and more.
This is exactly what advertisers should care about, and what should influence their budget allocation. It is exactly what agencies should spend time analyzing so they can help guide a marketer’s investment across screens.
Alas, TV is not sexy. Instead, marketers and their agencies want to discuss how to participate in the podfronts (yes, that is now a thing!). They debate how much money to allocate to Clubhouse vs Twitter Spaces, and how much should be spent on YouTube Shorts, the TikTok competitor.
My plea is this: Invest where your audience is and where you know you can generate meaningful impact, instead of making assumptions about where you think, hope or dream they are going to be.