Yesterday’s New York Times article, headlined “Eyes drift. Marketers stick to TV” had this Boomer/blogger executing a classic double take.
In sum, the article says that, even though TV ratings are collapsing, media stocks are failing and core cutting is accelerating, major advertisers are CONTINUING to pour billions and billions of dollars into, get this, broadcast television.
In fact, major marketers just plunked down a cool $9 billion dollars to sponsor shows on ABC, CBS, ABC and Fox. This, despite the fact that TV’s number one show, ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ has a median viewing age of 55.
So, why do smart CMO’s, whose average mayfly-like lifespan is shorter than any other member of the C-Suite, continue to dump mega dollars into a medium a Pivotal Research analyst described as “…archaic as water flowing through pipes”?
There are several reasons:
– Network sales directors correctly point out that they, and they alone, provide premium content that is professionally produced, vetted and won’t be an issue for your brand to be associated with (a biggie considering the flak Facebook in particular has received after allowing live videos of murders and suicides to appear right alongside digital ads).
– While digital may be the darling of the day, it still trails traditional advertising spending by a whopping 11 percent. So much for the mindset that ALL THINGS MUST BE DIGITAL RIGHT NOW.
While I can understand why advertisers prefer TV to digital, especially when it comes to reaching Boomers, I must tell you I despise commercials.
I don’t watch a single “live” major network program; I opt opt instead to DVR my favorite cable programs, and view them when I can. And, when I can, I immediately fast forward EVERY, single commercial.
So, for now, there remains a colossal number of Boomers (and their younger brethren, the so often overlooked Gen Xers), who still watch the mediocre mix of recycled:
– ‘CSI: Benton Harbor’ spin-offs
– Oh-so-predictable ‘Bull’ courtroom dramas
– Moronic sitcoms and reality shows.
I can tell these network advertisers one thing for sure: their days are numbered.
While “the base” may still enjoy “Dancing with the Has-beens and Never Were”, their Millennial and Generation Z kids aren’t going anywhere near TV sets.
And, discerning Boomers and Gen Xers will continue to DVR their favorite shows and blow past commercials faster than the White House disavowed Trump’s sharing top State secrets with visiting Russian diplomats.
Network TV is reaping the rewards of the final days of the horse-and-buggy era. While they can still count on money pouring into their coffers in the short term, the handwriting is on the wall (or on the i8. Take your pick).
Digital is coming. And, guys like me are leaving.
The sooner Boomer bloggers like me die off (or descend into senility), the sooner networks will have to face facts: The Big Bang Theory, and the advertisers who support it, will disappear.
It’ll be a Big Bang of advertising. And, it’s coming soon to a theatre near you.
Hello digital. Bye-bye broadcast.
Makes you wonder what ALL of the people involved in media buying today will do after mainstream broadcast content finally runs its course? Some will obviously be able to transfer their skills to digital, but the rest will probably end up becoming real estate or insurance salespeople .
An insider perspective: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/301277/why-tvs-upfront-may-not-be-doomed.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline&utm_campaign=103101&hashid=fuaRwUTA6inas7bmBfPqIyHB8dk
I’m 54. Whenever I glimpse a network TV promo or tie-in on execrable Today or GMA, my immediate thought is “this is loud, stupid and a blatant assault on my being.” And the commercials, once memorable, are either bland or in-you-face — lacking any great wit or even a catch phrase.
I guess the buyers have convinced themselves and clients that they aren’t “wasting” their spend for 2017-2018, but the whole thing is getting rapidly antiquated. In chasing the last big bucks, they will end up flat-footed.
Thanks, Deb. Completely agree that there’s tremendous waste in massive television spends. But, I guess there are still enough Americans who watch the mindless nonsense on the four major networks to warrant it. That said, the clock is ticking and digital will soon surpass broadcast TV as the number one spend by major marketers.
This is surprising and I agree with you. I DVR everything as well. The other question too is what percentage of dollars are they pouring into digital or is the spend so small it’s meaningless? They really need to understand their audiences and how to effectively reach them vs potentially throwing dollars away.