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The US television advertising market seems to be in a state of flux. A joint survey from ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and Forrester Research Inc shows a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of television ads, but within that broad context, there is a renewed faith in the 30-second commercial. Only 19% of respondents to the US survey believe that the 30-second spot will be dead in 10 years, down from 28% a year ago.
Sixty-two per cent of respondents thought that TV ads have become less effective in the past two years, with ‘clutter’ the main challenge. There is a desire for more targeted TV ads but a reluctance to pay for them. Seventy eight per cent of respondents said they would be interested in the ability to target consumers more precisely, with 59% saying they would be willing to pay a premium for this capability.
The survey shows that there is a high interest in branded entertainment, which is expected to play much more of a role in TV advertising as an alternative to the 30-second spot.
The survey sample covered more than 100 national advertisers on US television representing nearly $14 billion in media spend. Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director David M. Cooperstein has drawn the conclusion that CMOs (Chief Marketing Officers) need to force change upon the TV advertising ecosystem. “We recommend that advertisers get ready for the future of television by preparing to deliver targeted commercials, delivering true branded entertainment experiences, and embracing the Connected TV,” he comments.
A relative decline of TV advertising was noted; respondents said they allocated 41% of their media budgets to television last year versus 58% in the same 2008 survey.
Advertisers showed dissatisfaction with measurement, a theme that is also being echoed in the online video advertising world. Nearly all advertisers who responded thought that the TV industry needs new audience metrics beyond reach and frequency. Eighty two per cent of respondents would be interested in ratings for individual commercials. Work to make this last wish come true is ongoing. The ANA Television Advertising Committee and The Nielsen Company has now concluded the first two phases of their In-Home Commercial Ratings Test and say there is now a potential path for providing individual commercial ratings for the US market.
Today, viewing of commercials is reported as the average of all commercial minutes viewed live or in playback during a particular television programme. To determine the technical feasibility of Nielsen producing individual commercial ratings, advertisers participating in this test have encoded their commercials employing the same technology Nielsen uses to measure how many people view television programmes, to measure how many people watch the individual commercials.
“Given the high accuracy rates in the test, it is technically possible to measure commercial viewing in the home,” the ANA and Nielsen report. “Additional testing is required to refine the technology to further improve accuracy.”