Friday, January 18, 2008

Are you out of business yet?


A recent survey reported in Ad Age sounds yet another death knell for traditional television-based advertising agencies. http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=123011
(Ironically, it also sounds the death knell for Ad Age who is as television-centric as the most ossified of traditional agencies.)

I can sum up this survey with a single phrase, "We're going downhill fast." Among male alte kockers aged 45-64, computer-based entertainment is preferred to TV-based entertainment 33%-23%. It's 36% to 18% for those men aged 25-44. And among males 12-24, it's gaming 34%, computers 22% and TV a lowly 6%.

OK. A short lesson in semiotics, the language of signs. Is there a traditional agency in America other than two-time Agency of the Year winner Goodby et al, who doesn't list TV first on their website? Does either of the big advertising trade journals editorially reflect the statistics noted above? Does any CMO's time-sheet have his hours allocated accordingly?

There are those who still behave like the sun will never set on the TV-viewing empire. But they're not reading this. They can't. They're sitting in the dark.

1 comment:

T said...

TV will not go away. But it will go the way radio did.
Although it will still hold the appeal of being something to gather around. But not on an everyday basis. were talking special shows, the hits, and events.
and even the hit shows will be hurt by dvr's, as those are changing the need of having to follow the network programming hours. At its longest it's a matter of a generation-shift.
TV-like, linear, entertainment will remain, and not only on the shared can in the living room.
However, with individual computers it's 100% unlikely we will see half hour long programs stretched into an hour thanks to ad-breaks. Won't happen. Snap out of it. We're only that much interested in seeing the same ads over and over and over again. And with dvr's we don;t need the tv-break to fetch a cup of coffee or go to the lo even when watching TV in our sofas.
we're not interested in ads in general. Other than as an occasional event. Like the super-bowl or something.
The websites dedicated to branded content such as Honeyshed will not live long if the entertainment isn't brilliant, which it isn't right now. My kids think it's totally cheesy.
Websites such as www.firebrandtv.com dedicated to ad-spots may have a marginal place on some people weekly viewing list. But why? Who cares, really?
It's getting increasingly hard to advertise. Advertising has actually always worked best as intrusion. The stopping power. I don't think websites with only ads have enough stopping power or even holding power.
There's been a few golden years where production of TV spots cost more than big budget movies per second. The party is over. some remnants still left. But in the future, starting yesterday, the advertiser will need to produce much, much more for their total dollars. Which takes a different kind of agency and a different kind of mind-set and a different production models. I know how it works. Just hire me.
Of course, Apple shows us with their big banners of live video on sites such as nytimes.com that "tv-like" stuff still works. but it's not mass-media the way the big networks are.
Even including big networks TV spending, most brands need to also include a whole lot more today.
It will hurt TV. No matter what. and certainly those agencies who lived form TV. Don't forget, that a lot of what made many of the TV centric agencies look good was the fact they didn't hire the most critical talent internally. The Director. She came via external production houses. That's still possible.
The choice of the right director has a bigger impact on the quality of the work than many people realize. Besides, many of the younger directors are embracing new models of working. More flexible. To suit a model where more has to be produced than just a 30 second spot. modern production houses follow suit. And what's more, it's not as easy to adjust to the new world as some may think.
People like me , who grew up a small shops having to do anything and everything that came through the door are better suited to the new world than those who basically worked on one medium. which is the case at big agencies, even those who claim to be integrated.