Is It Time For The TV Ad To Retire?
*Contributed by Steve Garvey, Senior Copywriter
It’s hard to remain relevant when you’re in your 70s. Times have changed since you were in your prime. The world moves faster, now. And the younger generation doesn’t really care what you have to say. I’m not talking about the grandparents, old neighbors and president-elects that make up our world. I’m talking about TV advertising.
On July 1, 1941, the first televised ad was broadcast during a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. It was for Bulova Watches and it cost the company $9 to air. Of course, a TV spot costs a lot more today. Add to that the expansion of new media outlets and new DVR devises with ad-blocking capabilities, it’s no wonder brands are looking for new ways to effectively tell their stories and move more product.
So the question is: Is it time for TV ads to be retired? The quick answer is no; TV advertising remains the primary focus of most brands’ marketing efforts, with an estimated $70 billion spent in 2016 alone.
That said, this 75-year-old could use a makeover, especially if it has any hope of reaching younger, savvier consumers, such as millennials, who routinely reject having products forced down their throats in 30-second snippets.
For advertisers with bigger budgets, that makeover may come in the form of ads created in the style of the show they’re being run on, often featuring the show’s stars. Or in the case of Pepsi and the Fox series “Empire,” the brand can even become part of the plot line.
For companies that don’t have those kinds of budgets, however, TV is being used as a component of a multi-platform advertising campaign, working together with other mediums to effectively engage audiences. This cross-channel approach allows brands to tie television advertising in with social media, often through pre-television release of ads. They can also use TV spots as launching pads for expanded content online, which isn’t constricted to a 15-, 30- or 60-second format. This is not only a more cost-effective way to advertise, but with an extended timeframe, companies have the opportunity to deliver branded content in unique and engaging ways.