Sorry, but TV advertising is not dead

screenshot_90Here we go again.  The so called, self-appointed, experts are telling us that TV advertising is as dead and that you’re better moving ad dollars to digital.  That folks, is pure BS.

Marketing Weeks calls the move from TV to digital “morbus digitalis” and says “the onset of the disease usually starts when a senior C-suite leader, emboldened by their experiences and apparent success in applying digital tactics at lower levels of the firm, takes the helm and doubles down on digital to save the day”.  Unfortunately, that’s a mistake.

Need proof?  Just look for a case study of The Gap.

The Gap announced that they would significantly scale back TV advertising. Gap, which had made seasonal TV ads part and parcel of its success in the US, spent the Christmas holiday season off the air. The move should not have come as too much of a surprise. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Organizations afflicted with Morbus digitalis often suffer under the delusion that TV is dead or ineffective. [/inlinetweet]Unfortunately, it is a symptom that can prove very difficult to reverse. Even exposure to relatively high doses of objective data showing television’s media supremacy can prove ineffective.  The Gap’s sales suffered as a result as the move to all an all digital format.


A study by TiVo Research, in partnership with customer engagement consulting firm 84.51 and media companies including A&E Networks, found that [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]sales declined at 15 consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies that cut their TV advertising[/inlinetweet]. The companies, who are not identified, cut their TV budgets between 20% and 70%, generating a combined sales loss of $94 million., the study found.

“In today’s multi-screen content universe, consumer brands are reallocating advertising dollars to digital spend, however, our research found that TV advertising is more effective than ever,” said Betsy Rella, vice president of research at TiVo Research, in a statement.


So what does this mean?

1ne: TV advertising is still effective in driving demand, especially with products that don’t have a big decision tree between a prospect and a sale (i.e. most items in a grocery store.

2wo: Your objective should be to maximize your advertising mix, but be aware of the limitations of digital in an age of ad blockers and consumers who don’t want you interfering with their online time.

3hree: The biggest mistake marketers make with TV is failing to measure reach/frequency to the point that your TV spots become annoying (i.e. Liberty Mutual).

4our: Cable TV and networks are developing programming that is going to attract viewers.  Taking a “wait and see” approach could cost you sales and budget dollars.

Finally, although a lot of people time shift their viewing the majority do not.  In addition, time shifting viewers do not always skip TV spots.


About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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