Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Advertisers get demanding as TV networks try to be creative

Ad spending is declining and content companies are looking for creative ways to get their biggest slice of the ad buy. The "big fish" networks with their hands in many platforms may have to build ad packages that are more than just linear schedules. "Collaboration has become key to sales, with more advertisers demanding that networks work with them to create innovative campaigns weaving brands into shows and across platforms." That means in program, VOD, web, and mobile. Product placement, sponsorship, sweepstakes, interactive participation, sampling, and social networking. The simple ad buy can no longer be simple.

And the big networks, with their fingers in broadcast and cable, video web portals, mobile websites, etc. may have to reach across their businesses to synergize the complete solution for their advertiser. For Fox, that might mean building a campaign that includes Fox Network, Fox News and Fox Business Channel, VOD, My Space, and even Hulu. And in the case of Hulu, does that become problematic in determining what part of the buy is Hulu's, especially when sharing the revenue with NBC and soon to be Disney. And doesn't an integrated, multi-platform buy mean cost savings for the advertiser. How much is the Hulu share discounted as a percentage of the total ad buy.

"Companies also want to know more about viewers than just how many there are and their basic demographics. They want to know who is paying attention to the commercials, and whether those ads compel them to actually make a purchase." Online and VOD data can provide far more accurate data on the viewer than linear. Tivo can get more info on time shifted usage. Big brother may simply be the advertising companies knowing more about how we consume the content we view.