On my drive into the office I was listening to the audio CD from July’s Success Magazine and I heard it again, “Marketing and advertising practices in such things as broadcast and radio are quickly becoming a thing of the past.” It’s true that traditional TV advertising is in a decline thanks to TiVo and the recent popularity of online videos, streaming content and mobile devices. However, even as the “second screen” phenomenon explodes, TV advertisements still reign.
Before marketers pull DRTV advertising, they should wait for things to play out. With a lot of recent attention on multi-screen devices (e.g., tablets, smart phones, etc.) and the growing number of people who multi-task between these while watching TV, one might think it makes sense to pull dollars away from direct response TV advertising. A May 2012 study from the Internet Advertising Bureau showed that even amidst multi-tasking with other devices, TV gets the most attention from viewers (55%).
The real concern here is that the more gadgets viewers pay attention to, the less they pay attention to TV advertising, especially the marketer’s DRTV ads. One potential benefit from this trend however, is the connection between multi-device ownership, TV ad recall and brand associations. 53% of four-screen users showed an increased ability to recall advertisers. Through all this digital clutter, viewers are less likely to channel surf or skip commercials because they are also on their “second screen” and attention is split to both. Furthermore, the demographic of consumer paying the most attention to advertisers in this setting includes the 18-34 subset; traditionally the group coveted most by marketers.
The takeaway for marketers in the middle of all this technology and change is that it’s still too early to tell. The effectiveness of the second screen, social TV and reward-based viewing are largely unproven as an advertising option for Direct Response. The large flat screen TV in the middle of the living room remains king and content on this device should still be the determining factor for deciding where marketers should reach consumers most effectively.
In other words, it is important to be aware of the changes happening but be cautious. Evaluate whether these new practices make sense in reaching the right people. The ones that are going to buy your product.