Television Advertising - What comes next?

Advertising is a key element in the production and distribution of Media. Advertising essentially permeates everything: Television, Radio, Print Media (both actual print and it’s online counterpart). However times are a changing and it is now becoming blatantly obvious that with the mass move to digital media it is time for a change. The fact is the methods used for targeting people with adverts are ancient. Don’t mistake me some fine advertisements are made, it is essentially delivery that is the problem. For example in television, the times with the highest ad buy are directly before, after, and during the most popular programmes. However if we consider that an ad break may last two minutes we then have to consider that the amount of adverts that can fit into that time is small. The companies are essentially buying that time due to the high number that watch that particular programme in the hope that they will find their audience. There is logic in this, it is logic based on what was possible then and not what is possible now, but there is logic.

There are studies of demographics that watch particular shows, for example if I find a television shows high demographic is 18-25 year old men then it may seem like the smart move to advertise a high concept action movie, knowing as we do that the demographics for those types of movies tend to skew that way, however it is essentially guess work, based on small numbers. Only so much can be accomplished with surveys, particularly when we consider extraneous factors such as projected self image which may encourage a survey participant to lie about what they like. 

However if we look at the Facebook model and the search ad model we can see that search engines and social networks build up a far more detailed profile of your interests by what you in fact engage with on a base level. This allows for a far greater level of targeted advertising. This can of course be easily dismissed; after all when an advert is going out to millions upon millions of people it is impossible to tailor that advert to a particular individual in their living room. Television companies have been trying this for years! This is of course true, but not for much longer! The most significant development in Television advertising is just round the corner, in fact, it’s already here. Just not on mass. That thing is Internet Television. And what will make it possible is that most important thing collaboration.

Internet Television has the potential to change everything! Why would anyone choose to deliver broad based advertising when they could target each consumer individually in their living rooms? Once you introduce the internet to television you have the potential to replace traditional ads with a live stream of targeted ads based on a users internet history or social networking profile. Everyone in the country could potentially be served different adverts at the same time. This is in fact good for the consumer. 

How many times have you found yourself watching adverts that simply could not apply to you? Maybe for women’s earrings or for a mans watch. Perhaps you hate alcohpops, so why exactly are you having to suffer through the latest vaguely amusing WKD advert? I don’t, I fast forward as it’s been shown increasing numbers do, occasionally I’ll hit pause when I see an advert that applies to me but for all of their money most Television Adverts pass me by faster than the money down the drain. Also it is clear that as advertisers fall out of love with the traditional television model and money is withdrawn and put into newer methods, the amount of money available to produce quality entertainment and art diminishes. The fact is this is both are bad for the consumer. 

The internet has the potential to reinvigorate Television Advertising simply through increased personalisation. Of course there are many obstacles to this: I can’t actually think of a more vicious triangle than, advertisers, broadcasters, and those that hold the all important information. Then of course there are the moral concerns, and the endearing bunch that seem to think increased efficiency in anything is a sign of impending doom. But hey I’m sure everyone will calm down when 2012 is over. The overriding fact is if they could work it out it would be more profitable! For everyone! I guess we will just have to wait and see.


  1. darkcard posted this