TV advertising and brand fatigue

  • TV ads are meant to inform consumers, but too many ads actually hurt brands with really bad content.
  • Among the mistakes is making a TV ad personality the star of the spot(s).
  • With online streaming increasing it’s expected that online will garner more minutes of consumers’ attention than live TV.

During a layover at the airport I had the chance to watch some daytime TV.  I never realized just how bad TV advertising has become and how so many agencies could air such crap on behalf of clients.  It also became clear that brands have forgotten about effective reach and frequency.

As I watched the big screen TV in the waiting area I had a chance to observe other passengers.  Yes, they were watching TV (CNN) but as at home whenever a commercial aired they turned to their smartphones.  In the course of 45 minutes I must have seen at least 4-5 brands who aired the same spots over and over.  The most obnoxious was Progressive insurance.  Not one spot, however, really gave consumers a reason to purchase their product.

So why would people subject themselves to this kind of abuse?  The answer is that they are moving away from broadcast TV and streaming TV shows they watch and skipping commercials.  It’s gotten to the point that some of my friends record NFL games so they can skip the annoying ads that repeat and repeat.

I have several friends who are in the ad business on the agency side and they admit that their creative people are “out of touch” with today’s consumers.  They also admit that too often brands don’t want to spend the money to develop several concepts to alleviate ad fatigue and that effective reach and frequency is often overlooked which they find amazing in the age of “big data”.

Retailers, like Target and Costco, are capitalizing on “brand fatigue” by offering premium private label products.  Today, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Kirkland accounts for about 25% of the company sales, well above the industry average of 17% for private-label sales[/inlinetweet], according to WSJ. Costco shoppers are not only drawn to Kirkland brands because they are cheaper than the name-brand offerings, but Kirkland products have a quality they have come to rely on.

Within the past year, sales of private-label brands have surpassed those of manufacturers’ brands, according to a Nielsen report cited by Food Navigator. The most recent “Total Consumer Report” from Nielsen stated that after trading negatively in the last quarter of 2016, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]store brands were “posting dollar growth of more than three times the rate of branded products[/inlinetweet]” by the last quarter of 2017. Much of this growth was coming from premium private-label products, the report added.

Why? Because marketers are brain dead and are being led by agencies that are only interested in billable hours at the same time consumers are experiencing brand fatigue. It seems the days of just delivering a great product at a great prices have been replaced with  “let’s overreach them in hopes that some of our messages will stick”.

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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