Do you watch TV commercials?

tvDo you watch TV commercials? I sure don’t. And, according to Adweek, I’m not alone.
Check this out:

– According to a survey of 350,000 TiVo users, a shocking 73 percent skipped EVERY single ad while watching Mad Men live or on DVR. What would Don, Roger and Peggy think of that?

– According to the very same survey, viewers of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Justified’ also skipped EVERY single TV commercial in the same, record numbers. Holy afterlife, Batman!

All of which begs the question: why are marketers spending mega bucks when three out of four members of their target audience skip the ads completely? That makes advertising spending sound like Madison Avenue’s answer to a drunken sailor on leave. They’ll spend money on anything.

As RepMan readers know, I feel the same way about the money being spent on print advertisements. It, too, is an egregious waste.

I’m at a loss to understanding why marketers continue to pour money down the drain when there are so many better, smarter options (Think: PR, social media, experiential marketing, product placement, etc.).

Don’t get me wrong: I am ALL FOR highly targeted, personalized advertising, and think it’s highly effective.

Matt Lester, our creative director, launched a brilliant, highly-focused campaign that employed outdoor kiosks and TaxiTV spots to reach affluent targets of a high-end spa and fitness center. That’s smart. And, it worked like a charm. The client reported a record number of one-percenters responding to the ads and signing-up for a free evaluation.

But, how does one justify the hundreds of millions of dollars of spent on prime-time advertising such as the ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Walking Dead’ and ‘Justified’ campaigns?

Were I running the PRSA, Council of PR Firms, Arthur W. Page Society and other trade groups representing our industry, I think I’d launch an attack advertising campaign against wasteful ad spending. And I know exactly where I’d place the ads: Adweek and Advertising Age.

Someone needs to send a wake-up call to chief marketing offices and the ad agencies they employ who spend billions of dollars annually and end up reaching only a tiny fraction of their audience.

So, who can suggest the ideal headline for my campaign? I promise not to fast forward my Blackberry when I see your comment.

3 thoughts on “Do you watch TV commercials?

  1. I can’t believe you’re still using a blackberry, but I think Don Draper would probably figure out a way to insert pop-up ads into the TV programs. MTV uses pop-up ads a lot during their shows, and it’s SUPER annoying. But, I guess we have to watch the ads because we want to watch the show.

  2. Gotta disagree with you this time, RepMan. By TV standards, “Mad Men,” “Justified,” and “Walking Dead” have extremely small audiences. So, when folks fast-forward the ads while watching these shows on DVR, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. In fact, I read that Matt Weiner is trying to sell spots on Mad Men’s series finale in 2015 like it’s going to be a Super Bowl event. As much as I love Don Draper and the gang, it’s no Super Bowl.

    Also, print ads can be effective — especially in magazines. When I visit the hair and nail salon, I’ve seen women all the time engaging in the editorial and ad content as a captive audience. I’ve also seen them ripping print ads out of the magazines for future reference.