Does the 30-Second Spot have a Future?
But in a multichannel, multitasking landscape, it’s becoming more and more difficult to cut through the clutter.
The advertising space is growing increasingly competitive, with online giants like Google and Facebook offering search and display advertising on a highly targeted basis. This year, Facebook’s targeted advertising is expected to pull in $2.19 billion, while Google is expected to earn $1.15 billion on advertising in the US alone. TV advertising needs to change and adapt if it’s going to stay competitive. So what changes in the TV industry will impact the 30-second spot?
The Rise of the Second Screen
70% of tablet owners and 68% of smartphone owners use their devices while watching television. And this trend is set to grow; 25 million iPads have sold to date and 50 million are expected to be sold this year.
Advertising campaigns need to take into account the fact that viewers watch more than one screen at a time. Most often, viewers use the second screen to interact on social networks.
This means that whenever advertisers run a major campaign on the TV, they need to coordinate it with activity across tablets, web, and mobile.
Already, some companies are putting this into action; During the final of American Idol, the show’s website displayed a number of banner ads that directly reacted to commercials shown on TV, asking viewers whether the Ford commercial on their TV screen was convincing enough for them to buy a new car.
Social integration is becoming a more key aspect of TV advertising. Younger respondents (18-34) are much more likely to respond positively to social/TV integration. Many ads offer Facebook URLs, or a website on the screen to encourage people to interact with the ad - building brand impressions.
In 2011 the social check-in company GetGlue ran a successful integrated social campaign that featured a Mercedes Benz sponsorship. According to GetGlue, the deal marked the first time an event integrated entertainment check-ins on its website through GetGlue’s widgets, enabling users to access stickers directly through Oscars.com.
Interactive TV Technology
TV advertising is also about to become a lot more interactive. Xbox has started to explore this avenue, with ads you can wave at, tweet at, and more.
While the examples from XBox are not particularly compelling, Xbox has the potential to transform the 30 second spot – taking it from passively watching to actively participating.
As TV audiences fragment, operators are beginning to experiment with mobile apps, Twitter promotions and branded social networks - and connected TV will be the medium that holds all these elements together.
According to Yahoo’s recent research, two in five consumers say they are interested in content relevant to the commercials they see. In fact, more than half of respondents reported that they are likely to interact with an ad. This provides new space for TV operators to offer advertising space in a new engaging way.
So far, connected TV has failed to attract significant advertising revenue, in large part because it is difficult to measure audiences. With BARB’s announcement that they are going to start measuring viewing on the web, tablets, and laptops, this is a problem that will probably be solved this year.
With $6.50 of every $10 of advertising spend being spent on television, it's clear that TV remains the most important and cost-effective advertising medium for companies looking for massive reach. The essence of the 30-second spot is here to stay – as long as it continues to embrace new technologies and evolve with the rest of the advertising industry.
Do you think the 30 second spot has a future?
Emma Wells, Marketing Manager