The future of TV advertising

Here, we look at the change in the way in which viewers access and digest content.

In some ways, you have to feel sorry for advertisers and marketers in the modern age. After all, customers are increasingly switched on and aware in 2016, capable of discerning quality messaging from overtly promotional text. With little margin for error, your brand must create a strategically sound and tailored TV advertising campaign if it is to be successful.

Your cause is unlikely to be helped by the constantly evolving nature of advertising, however, which has increasingly shifted away from traditional television and radio slots. These costly promotional slots scarcely deliver a viable ROI, while the rigidity of these forums does not appeal to contemporary viewers.

One of the key changes has been the way in which viewers access and digest content. Rather than watching fixed television schedules and regular programming, for example we have recently seen a huge rise in the amount of content accessed online in the form of videos on demand (VODs). In fact, a report by ZenithOptimedia has revealed that online video is continuing to dominate the consumption of visual content while streaming platforms also supersede traditional TV.

In specific terms, the average time watching videos online is expected to increase to one hour per day in the UK, with the vast majority of these views coming through a mobile device. While the amount of hours spent watching traditional television remains higher, the gap is decreasing and by the end of this year online viewership may well emerge supreme. If this is the case, we should expect mobile to be a key driver of this trend.

This is part of a wider trend in the field of entertainment, which is influencing the behaviour of consumers when viewing content and accessing games. The concept of live streaming represents a relevant case in point, as we are increasingly unlikely to be bound by rigid television schedules or a specific games console when we can stream our favourite programmes online in real-time or download preferred titles across various platforms. The flexibility offered by virtual casinos, where users often find them confronted with marketing materials telling them to ‘explore mobile casino sites’, which also adds to this mix, simultaneously changing the expectations of citizens and impacting on their decisions.

If online viewership is to take hold and cement a dominant place in the market in 2016, however, how should brands react? A good first step would be to reduce your spend on prime time television advertising slots, instead using a smaller budget to schedule regional spots that are aimed to targeted audiences.

You can increase your spend on the creation and distribution of VODs, perhaps creating a channel on resources such as YouTube and Vimeo before sharing your output socially and embedding specific videos on your website. The nature of these videos will depend on the content or your primary message, although VODs generally have to be impactful and clearly defined if they are to achieve their aims.

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