How TV Ads Need to Be More Like Digital Advertising

TV ads aren’t going away. At least not any time soon. Yes, the ways in which we experience and consume advertisements has changed so as to make them feel more diminished in our immediate experience—marketers who are “off the clock” fast forward through the TV ads, too. Nonetheless, TV advertising has actually grown. Earlier this year, Forbes reported that TV advertising revenue was up 7.1%. But, and this goes back to how we’re consuming TV ads, most of this growth was captured by ad spending on live events. The NFL and film industry awards ceremonies don’t exactly feel like growth industries right now, though certainly that could change.


Trends and Predictions

What’s more, TV advertising is continuing to lose market share to the advertising industry as a whole. Social media ad spending was up 42% over the same time period, for example. What happens when the next recession occurs and businesses pull back on their ad spending? Where do you think they’re going to look to back from first? And so, right now may be rosy times hiding more systemic threats.

If you take a deeper dive into TV advertising, however, most marketing and advertising professionals don’t see the death knell of TV advertising so much as movement and evolution toward the digital advertising space with its robust data collection and actionable metrics. Ad spending on live events continues to rise as the premium rises not just for impressions, but high-quality exposure that is able to penetrate through the noise of ubiquitous exposure to digital media platforms. (It helps, too, that sports and movie fans are sought after by many businesses and industries for their purchasing power.)


Matchmaking: Solution Seeking Problem

The existential threat to TV advertising would seem to come from the younger generation who has literally grown up in front of multiple digital media platforms. They’re willing to—or expect to have to—share more of their personal data to receive the benefits of a sharing economy. And nowhere is this more prevalent than Millennials who are pulling the plug on traditional cable subscriptions and sharing subscription services to access TV programming across multiple platforms.

Critical to the future of these subscription services is whether they will look to keep raising prices while keeping their ad presence low and unobtrusive or whether they will look to collect and monetize even more of their customer’s data through individual user accounts. This will enable these platforms and their content providers to approximate more of the value currently achieved by digital advertising, even without the rich feedback and actionable intelligence that comes with social media ads.