When the Fish Get Finicky...
TV still works. It just works better with better creative.
In a couple of previous articles in this space, I referred to the continuing impact of television advertising. My evidence was, quite frankly, mostly circumstantial. But as Thoreau said, “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.” In this case, the circumstantial evidence I was citing was the preponderance of TV as the medium of choice by most national politicians and the continuing interest in the television commercials aired in the Super Bowl. If TV wasn’t working, do you really think these politicians and major brand marketers would put millions of dollars into it?
Now I have more credible evidence. This week’s Advertising Age reports that not only does TV advertising still work but that it may actually be working better than ever. They validate this claim with specific studies from several sources including Nielsen. I won’t clutter this space with all the sources, but you can check it out for yourself through this link: http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=134790
Considering the steady lamentations of the death of TV advertising over the last decade, this is pretty interesting stuff. But there are two key issues that must also be considered in the discussion. Although these are views our agency has held for some time, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Ad Age for articulating them better than I could.
The first of these is the importance of integration in marketing communications. One of the research studies showed the “spillover effect for TV in digital media,” noting that a third of search engine inquiries were driven by offline advertising – most often TV. This was a higher proportion than inquiries driven by online advertising. To me, it’s not an issue of where the inquiries come from so much as it is how the marketing mix is blended. When there are multiple communications channels speaking with a single voice to a well-defined message and a clear call to action, the results multiply synergistically.
The other point is that the quality of the creative substantially enhances effectiveness. Here’s a quote you have to love from Douglas Brooks, one of the aforementioned research guys. “When the fish get finicky, it makes you a better fisherman. The presentation of the bait and how it’s delivered – getting it in the right spot at the right time – becomes critical.”
OK, all this fish imagery is purely unintentional. But the point is as obvious as the trout in the milk. Television isn’t dead. Sometimes it just needs a transfusion of effective marketing strategy and good old-fashioned creativity.
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