The Madness of Advertising on TV
Nothing-nothing!-bugs me more than advertising writers who call TV ads "winners" because they're the "best-remembered" and/or "most-liked."
Did the ad sell anything? What was the ROI?
Belinda Goldsmith of Reuters reported that roughly 1 billion people-15% of the world's population-watched some or all of the Olympic opening ceremonies, a TV spectacular that ran four and a half hours.
I watched the next morning via the DVR recording device that is part of our DIRECTV service. By judicious fast-forwarding-and avoiding ads and the procession of the athletes-I saw what was worth seeing in 90 minutes.
I don't watch TV commercials.
Cutesy-poo creativity and the "hard sell" repeated over and over ad nauseam do nothing for me. When you're 73, quality time gets precious.
I'm not alone.
The Chancy World of TV Advertising
According to IMS Research, 23.4% of all TV households-26 million-have DVRs. An Oliver Wyman consulting firm determined that 85% of DVR owners worldwide routinely skip three-quarters of the ads.
But the numbers are actually worse.
In addition to the folks who time-shift (i.e., record programs for later viewing at their convenience with no commercials), legions more head for the bathroom or kitchen during commercial breaks.
Where an entire generation of high-tech communicators has become expert at thumb-writing on BlackBerrys and cell phones, I'm a whiz with the TV remote control. During commercial breaks, I channel surf.
Between time-shifting, bathroom/kitchen breaks and channel surfing, it is fair to say that half the viewers aren't watching your commercial.
Translate this into direct mail, and it's the equivalent of renting a list that's 50% dirty or undeliverable. If you budgeted to spend $600/1,000 on a #10 mailing-or $0.60 each-and the list is 50% undeliverable, your actual cost is $600 per 500 pieces, or $1.20 for each piece mailed.
Like direct mailing to a dirty, old list, if you run an ad on TV, the true CPM is at least twice what the media sales rep tells you it costs. To hit budget, your results must be double your projections.