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Television Continues Its Reign

In our media planning conversations with clients, we often hear, “Are people still watching television, especially the younger generation?” and “Should we still be putting ad dollars into television?” If awareness is what you’re after, the answer is yes! Television is still a top influential medium, and the most efficient way to reach large proportions of the population quickly.
While there is no denying that the use of digital media has significantly increased, television viewing and ad spend has really not declined that much overall to make a significant impact. Both mediums play very different roles, and together, they are the perfect marriage. Television drives reach, awareness, recall and grows brands like no other outlet. TV advertisements aid in driving people online to search for a brand or go directly to a brand’s web page. At that point, digital marketing can use its ginormous technological backbone and targeting expertise to drive quality leads to take an action.

The current challenge for television providers and media planners is finding strategic ways to buy television schedules to reach the most eyeballs. News, live sports, prime series, event shows and other premium programs are still highly DVR-proof and usually watched live. With more providers selling ad space during on-demand and streaming TV, there is also more opportunity to avoid people fast-forwarding commercials.

Yes, They’re Still Watching

If you’re still skeptical, take a look at some stats from the Video Advertising Bureau:

  • TV set viewing in the United States rose by 4.6 million people over the last year.
  • TV reaches 287 million people monthly, significantly more than any other video platform. It also still commands 88% of total video time among those over 18.
  • S. consumers spend an average of 35 hours per week watching live and time-shifted television.
  • Even the younger segment of adults (those 18 to 24) spend three-quarters of their total video time in front of the television.
  • Despite the rise of on-demand video, watching TV live as it airs represents eight of 10 minutes viewed. This is true across age spectrums, with millennials watching live TV more than 80% of the time.

Alternative viewing platforms such as Roku, Amazon Prime, Netflix and Apple TV are growing, reaching about 92 million people in the United States. These outlets will give marketers more opportunity to reach consumers with their content and consumers more flexibility on where to watch and gain interest in more programs. The more programming they are interested in, the more likely TV viewing time will continue to outperform any other medium.

TV Ad Spend Equals Sales

Not convinced? Consider this quote from Rich Lehrfeld, American Express senior VP of global brand marketing and communications, that appeared in Ad Age: “When we run a heavy TV schedule, we see a lift in sales and product awareness. We need to run two weeks of digital to get the reach of one day of broadcast.”

TiVo research similarly found a direct correlation between a decrease in TV ad spend and a decrease in sales. A long-term research report from Accenture Strategy came to essentially the same conclusion: not only does advertising on multiplatform TV have a measurable, long-term impact on driving incremental sales, but it also significantly enhances the impact of digital advertising.

So, before you consider shifting ad dollars completely away from television and other traditional mediums, consider the impact it could have on brand growth and awareness.

Reign on, TV, reign on!


Vice President, Integrated Media Services


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