February 16, 2012 – 11:28 am
About 21 percent of marketers say that TV ads have become more effective over the last two years, according to a survey of 124 national advertisers conducted by Forrester for the Association of National Advertisers and released for the trade group's conference in New York today.
While that also means that about 80 percent of the respondents don't perceive an improvement in the impact TV advertising is capable of, Forrester analyst David Cooperstein points out that the 21 percent figure is three times higher than what it was two years ago. The study also shows that 38 percent say TV spots are "less effective," whereas two years ago, 62 percent of the marketers said the same thing.
As further proof of marketers' higher approval of TV advertising, 76% of the respondents said their media budgets will remain the same or higher this year, with TV ad dollars accounting for 47 percent of media budgets.
What accounts for the good feelings? Part of it could be attributed to the gradual improvement of the economy, which tends to lift marketers' moods generally. But the brighter view appears to be tied to the extensions of traditional TV ads, as dissatisfaction with the basic 30-second spot is getting higher.
It sounds like a disconnect -- how can TV ads be more effective, yet still be so unsatisfying? Forrester's respondents suggest that clutter is worsening (69 percent now say that there needs to be fewer commercials in a pod, versus the 66 percent who said the same two years ago), while branded entertainment is seen as playing a much greater role in TV advertising (80 percent say that this year, 78 percent said that in 2010).
For one thing, marketers offered greater credit to agencies, with 62 percent giving the nod to their media buyers for helping them figure out the new TV ad landscape this year, versus 52 percent who said that in 2010. Around 56 percent of the respondents attributed their better understanding to their digital agency (45 percent said the same in 2010), while 52 percent gave thanks to creative shops (also up from 42 percent two years ago).
Not surprisingly, the demand for targeted TV is getting louder. About three-quarters of the marketers surveyed described themselves as "interested" in addressable TV ads via the set-top box, while 15 percent were neutral and 13 percent indicated they didn't need it.
More respondents are experimenting now with some form of targeted TV advertising than are just planning on doing something in the space. Specifically, 29 percent say they're doing some form of targeted TV advertising, while 18 percent expect to do so within the next 12 months. Also, 24 percent have already issued requests for vendors to present them with interactive TV tools and 13 percent will solicit iTV providers this year.
One are that that doesn't appear to be attracting too much attention from marketers is dynamic ad insertion. Just 11 percent have any dynamic ad insertion going on at the moment, and a mere 21 percent will look into it later.
When it comes to platforms, online video ads are the favored extension, with 59 percent using that format. About 30 percent of the marketers are using video ads across tablets, while 27 percent are running ads on smartphones. A quarter are using video ads for smart TVs, though that platform by far should see the biggest growth, as nearly 40 percent of the survey participants say they'll be budgeting ad dollars for wifi-enabled sets over the next 12 months.
By David Kaplan
February 16, 2012 – 11:28 am