Why TV Advertising is Less Effective

A study conducted by Forrester Research for the Association of National Advertisers found that marketers have less confidence in television as an effective advertising medium. More specifically, 62% of marketers surveyed said TV advertising has become less effective in the past two years. Also, a majority said they were interested in trying newer ad platforms such as interactive TV ads, ads on video-on-demand (VOD) programming, and ad placement on online TV programs.

This news is troubling to the advertising and television industries, both of which are dependent on ad spending for their survival, but it is hardly surprising. The television audience has been fragmented for many years, and audiences have experienced further fragmentation as media consumption has moved to channels such as video streaming over the web, blogs, and podcasts. The case for television advertising is not helped by the fact that much of the creative we see in TV advertising today is not very good... OK, it's bad! A disconnect exists too often between the message the creative people deliver and the branding needs of the advertiser.

The role of advertising, whether it be TV, newspaper (another troubled medium), radio, magazine, or other less traditional mediums, needs to be revisited. Ad agencies are adept at creating messages that are entertaining (sometimes), but how does the entertainment value of an ad message fit into an Integrated Marketing Communication strategy? A realistic view of advertising is that it can create awareness and build interest for a brand, but other tools in the IMC toolkit (e.g., sales promotions and direct marketing) should be given greater weight to persuade an audience to take action.

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