On July 1st 1941, the very first television advertisement appeared. It was a ten seconds ad for Bulova watches that was aired during a baseball game in a local New York cable channel. As the ad played, the voiceover announced “America runs on Bulova time”. The huge success of this ensued many other companies to jump on board and thus started the marketing revolution that brought television advertising to a thriving life.
With the 9 dollar price tag which came with the Bulova advert to the millions of dollars that it takes today to air a 30 second commercial during a prominent live show, it has been one great journey for TV advertising which is still continuing with all its glory. However with the advent of innovative forms of media like digital, social, etc, where does television stand today?
At present, marketers are drawing out large chunks of money from TV and relocating it to digital which is an inevitable by product of the intrinsic proliferation of digital media. However they might want to reconsider their strategy. According to research done by market analytics company, Market Share, television has managed to hold its ground even in times of such radical change.
Automotive and telecom, both of which generally prefer to advertise through TV, has seen their sales increase by six folds as opposed to online. Moreover, during the five year period of this study (2010-2014), sales through television has only dipped by a mere 1.5 % (2012-2014), where as online has seen a 10.3% dip.
However many marketers will still choose online because of its better short term ROI. Even if independently digital does not perform at par with television, the media mix of television and digital can fetch better results and create a stronger impact. Thus when it comes to future of television advertising, we can see the lines blurring between TV and digital.
The convergence of TV and digital will lead to a change in evaluation of advertisements. To understand the dynamics of this combination and how they work to deliver on an advertiser’s expectations it will become imperative to measure the ad impressions in digital media. That can only happen when one looks at the ad impression on television. This further means that, ad measurements will see a shift from average commercial rating to measuring the impression of the advertisement seen.
Impressions can only be measured on a qualitative scale. To create advertisements that appeal to more than the visual senses, television advertisements will work on the convergence of technology, consumer behaviour and business models. With rapidly increasing technology and business models trying to cope with the tendency to time shift while watching TV, the future of television advertisement is predicted to become very lucid from the point of view of the consumer.
Accessible content libraries fuel customised, on demand stream which leads traditional channels to cut back on sharing mind space. This need accelerates time shifting while watching TV to a point where it wouldn’t be wrong in predicting an explosion of internet-TV connectivity. This will give rise to the demand of Smart TV, which means a simplified single user interface as opposed to multiple boxes.
This kind of behavioural shift in TV viewing will bring about significant changes in advertisement. Since ads will now have to be delivered in real time, it will lead to the purchase of very specific audience segments across shows. Product placements will increase and lines between infomercials and entertainment will be seen blurring
Targeting an entire segment with a piece of advertising will be taken a step further with in ad modifications catering to the sub divisions of audiences within the chosen division. This will be enabled by the ability to analyse and render Meta data. For example, the car being used in a chase sequence during a particular show may change depending on the person viewing it. Viewers may also hear different dialogues during particular scenes. This sort of personalisation will address the need of creating stronger impacts and measurable impressions.
Moreover in-time ad insertions will be employed much more to fit into the time shifting television viewing model. This feature will be further facilitated by analytics engines. Here the decision of what to air and when to air is based on context, current mood, demo-psychographics, intent, etc. Better audience tracking abilities and meta data analysing will bring about dynamic changes in the advertisements ‘quality making them better equipped to appeal to personal senses.
This new form of addressability and personalisation will infiltrate the consumer experience by now adding smell and taste to advertisements with the help of 3d printers, haptics and smell generating technologies. The functioning of studios, production houses, media aggregators and buyers will change a great deal as the quality of viewing advertisements go through a transition. Advertisers will need to be adept while predicting viewership, timing and demand of consumers.