I’ve been thinking a lot about television advertising because I haven’t really been paying that much attention to TV ads lately.
I am a big fan of good TV ads but the problem is now, if I want to watch one, I have to remember to push Play as I’m skipping through them on my DVR. My current media diet is almost entirely time-shifted. About the only things I’m certain to watch live are sporting events and breaking news.
That’s the major malfunction television as an advertising medium is increasingly suffering.
TV ads as blocks of content separate and apart and interruptive of non-advertising content is an art that must die or simply find another distribution channel because it is increasingly clear that it no longer works in it’s present form.
Perhaps the 15-, 30-, and 60-second ad spot can survive and even thrive as an entertaining marketing vehicle consumed on company web sites or as pasteable blog fodder or video uploads at the YouTubes of the world.
Considering that in such a trackable environment where the audience is most likely watching the ad because they want to, I can only guess that they’d be that much more effective.
Broadband Internet access is quickly becoming ubiquitous. TV-centric, Internet-ready entertainment devices as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 video game consoles are poised to become the focal point of the high definition home entertainment future. Microsoft’s Media Center software streams music and movies from your computer to your home entertainment system.
And, finally, with devices such as Sony‘s LocationFree player for the PlaySation Portable, you’ll be able to place-shift as well as time-shift by watching the contents of your DVR on your PSP through a wireless Internet connection. Entertainment on demand, whereever you are.
What all this adds up to the eventual merging of the television, the home PC, and the mobile device and all connected through the Internet.
In that environment, the old fashioned 20th century TV spot is dead but a new form of interactive product placement could well thrive.
The fact that product placement is already becoming much more common is a testament to the fact that Tivo is destroying the traditional TV ad. (Last Sunday, a promo for the new Ice Age movie was written directly into the script of The Family Guy).
There’s really no reason that we can’t eventually have entirely interactive television so that we could click on or in some way manipulate products that are placed in our entertainment programming, in order to get more information about that product.
Such a marketing vehicle would satisfy consumers because they would decide when or if their show would be interrupted and it would satisfy marketers because there would be an additional measurement metric by which they could judge effectiveness and they could more easily and effectively find qualified leads.