Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Follow the Money - Away from Broadcast Television

According to an article in Online Media Daily, Universal McCann Worldwide CEO Nick Brien, whose 20-year career has made him one of the most influential executives in the world of integrated marketing and advertising, noted this week that big name-brand marketers are moving away from traditional media channels and are threatening to shift the lion's share of their budgets online.

Brien was in New York to deliver the opening keynote address at the ad:tech New York Interactive Marketing Conference on November 6th. "If this happens for another year, significant clients will want to walk," Brien said Monday in reference to a general climate of discontent due to increasing viewer fragmentation, disruptive technologies, and the resulting decrease in returns from ad spending.

Brad Brinegar, chairman and CEO of Havas' McKinney, supported Brien's contention predicting that over 50% of McKinney's business will be digital in less than two years.

These statements confirm an August BusinessWeek survey. Surveyed were top marketing executives from Kraft Foods, Home Depot, Yahoo!, and Pepsi, and agency executives from BBDO, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi, and more. Of the largest advertisers (clients and agency-side executives on accounts larger than $750 million) who took part in the survey, 42.4% said TV spending would take the biggest hit in their budgets this year. Comments indicated that concerns were about commercial-skipping DVRs and new opportunities online.

These reports all are indicative of a major transition facing producers of episodic scripted tv. Supplemental tools will be required such as product placement, 10-second commercials which make that skip button not worth the effort, or entertaining commercials people will want to watch to continue broadcast tv use of scripted tv

More likely over the next five years, more scripted tv will be delivered over the internet with ad support, through premium subscription channels, or through pay-per-view options. Don't minimize the ad supported internet route. Consider the recent comment by Chris DeWolfe, the founder and CEO of MySpace, part of News Corp.: "If you are a drycleaners in Santa Monica, you can spend say $50, create your own banners, and target it to users within 5 miles. The zip code that users put in are 99 percent accurate, from our research."

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