TV still King says Kevin Murphy, Universal McCann's media buying chief

Kevin Murphy, managing director of Universal McCann’s media division discusses the upturn in TV advertising spend, which led to ITV reporting this week that it had doubled its profits in 2010.

Media commentators have speculated on the death of the 30 second TV ad for almost as long as people have claimed that the current year is “the year of mobile” but is anyone really still pushing that notion? As more and more digital-only agencies like i-level cease to exist and integrated media agencies now reach maturity in terms of digital expertise and understanding cross-media relationships, at Universal McCann we have noticed less noise trying to convince TV advertisers to spend their budget online.

There is rightly still the acknowledgement that TV gives brands credibility and more sophisticated measurement techniques such as econometric modelling can now conclusively prove the “halo” effect that TV has on the effectiveness of other media channels such as Paid Search.

Deloitte has just published its 2011 technology media and telecommunications predictions report. It talks about TV as a “super medium” and endorses the longevity of the 30 second spot. It said: ‘Television's strength as an advertising medium is likely to be once again proven by a second year of solid growth and a fifth consecutive year of increased share of advertising revenue.

In the latest Touchpoints 3 survey results show that people spend far more time watching TV than any other medium; TV was at 50 per cent, Radio at 26 per cent, Internet at 19, Newspapers at four per cent and Magazines just one per cent.

Simply put, people are now watching more TV whether that’s on live/scheduled TV, time shifted such as Sky +, online via ‘watch again’ technology or via internet enabled TVs! It’s undeniable that technology has re-invigorated our consumption of TV as the way we watch it has evolved.

The TV market grew by 15 per cent last year, with ITV outperforming at 16 per cent. With results like that, along with new exciting innovations such as the first paid UK product placement on This Morning, it’s undeniable that TV is enjoying a strong resurgence following the brutal recession.

With predictions that over 50% of TV households will own a DVR by the end of the year, it has been suggested that ad skipping will increasingly become the norm, but research shows and here at Universal McCann we do believe that, the majority of viewers still prefer to watch programmes live.

Let’s face it, with the likes of the X Factor, The Apprentice, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and the soaps, TV still has more watercooler moments than any other media. The biggest challenge for consumers is finding the time to watch everything!

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