The future of television advertising is up in the air, on the air and also on mobile

Future of TV advertising

There is no doubt that television has seen disruption over the last few years. Second screen viewing is growing, and traditional cable and network TV are getting squeezed by paid streaming services. This has altered the way television advertising is being approached, both by viewers creative agencies.

Many have already called the 30-second spot dead, and the younger generations don’t even think about traditional TV ads versus digital. But new forms of ads — shorter, longer, mobile — are giving advertisers options.

“Any good advertising will still try to win minds by winning hearts,” says Jordi Martinez, creative director, the Martin Agency. “It won’t matter if that happens on a big device or a small one.”

David Angelo, founder and chairman of David&Goliath, sees a changing landscape, with an audience that can choose what they watch and when they watch it.

“It requires brands to create ads that are more authentic and breakthrough than ever before,” says Angelo. “As far as TV advertising, the real opportunity is authenticity.”

Traditional television is being driven, in large part, by how people consume content on their mobile screens, helping continue the conversation.

“No matter how incredible a television show or ad, the majority of people will have their phone or tablet in hand while they watch,” says Lizz Kannenberg, director of content at social media management, analytics and advocacy company, Sprout Social. “Understanding this behavior can help advertisers develop spots with an interactive bent.”

Genevieve Hoey, group executive creative director at R/GA, says that TV has to adapt. “No longer are we dullard couch potatoes willing to suck up any kind of dross. Ads have to be interactive, provocative, funny, purposeful, informative.”

The blending of screens can spell success for brands, as Paul Vivant, chief executive at Digimind states: “Brands that consider second screens to be an extension of their television ad campaigns will be most likely to succeed.”

Colle McVoy executive director of media Steve Knapp sees that, as an industry, agencies need to be open and try new ways to deliver their messages. “As long as there’s a fast-forward or skip-ad button, as well as a way to measure effectiveness, what constitutes a TV ad will continue to evolve.”

Adds Chris Breen, chief creative officer at Chemistry: “TV is one of the only mediums people participate in group settings. While social and digital allow for incredible efficiencies in targeting, often that content is engaged within an isolated manner. Ironically, TV’s real power is its ability to be truly social.”

Even with digital and social fragmentation, some see the 30-second ad as being a vital tool moving forward in the next year or two. Says Angelo: “I believe the 30-second spot will still be relevant this year. Content, whether it’s six-second, 15 or 60, will depend on its ability to capture someone’s attention so that time is not even a factor. If you’re engaged, you’re not thinking of time.”

To read the full version of this feature, purchase a copy of The Drum’s Future of TV issue, created ahead of an Upfronts event being held on the topic on May 8 in New York.

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