Losing Advertising Effectiveness

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

17 January 2017

Advertising effectiveness needs a fresh look

There is a drop in advertising effectiveness today. It’s getting harder and harder to advertise effectively. Not only are there few one-stop-shops for media. The vast array of vertical choices are less persuasive in creating advertising effectiveness. Not exactly the promise of media buys.

Back at a time when TV was dominated by three networks

advertising effectivenessBut this change in viewing habits from the CBS, NBC and ABC-dominated channel strategy is bigger than that.

It’s not just that target audiences have more choices. And the media opportunities are more diluted.

The diffusion of viewership should theoretically make media buying more accurate.

The viewing public has changed. Fundamentally changed.

Targeting has improved If you believe media buyers. I guess I don’t.

Media planners and buyers talk about the ability to focus GRPs into TRPs

Really? What if nobody is paying attention?

Advertising effectiveness by figuring TRPs is not even half of the story

Logic tells us that advertising is more effective. Today, it is laser focused. You can pick your medium. And you can reach a more targeted consumer. Think Life Magazine and Look Magazine in the past. The generalist magazines lost advertising support when vertical pubs ate their lunches.

This looked like a perfect example of economies. Viewers who loved college basketball were reachable on ESPN. So, selling athletic shoes on ESPN was more efficient than selling the same shoes on NBC’s Cosby show.

Advertising effectiveness is different from advertising efficiency

It is more efficient to buy targeted rating points. But the advertising is not working very well. Not anymore. It seems no one reads newspapers. Magazine subscriptions are in free fall. Radio stations have more competitors. And cable boxes provide hundreds of choices. Streaming media has replaced much prime time viewing and binge watching is en vogue.

“I don’t really give a shit which political party you embrace. One thing was hammered home this past election. Misinformation rules.”

Many thought the internet was the next power play

But we have become expert at ignoring banner ads. Search for something on Amazon and you will see banner ads on your browser for that product for weeks. It doesn’t translate into conversion clicks. It’s just creepy. The ads scare you from action. SOMEBODY knows too much. You know what I mean?

But the biggest change is cynicism

advertising effectivenessIt’s not that we have become more sophisticated in discerning ads from information. It’s just that we have become more cynical. Viewers are less likely to believe.

Some advertisers are adjusting to this change. They are using a way-back machine. They borrow a strategy from the early days of radio. Full sponsorship.

advertising effectivenessDr. Pepper’s “One of A Kind Sound” is a perfect example. So is the new work by iHeart Radio. It is a throwback to a more innocent time. Less overt and maybe, just maybe, more effective.

Republicans and Democrats be Damned

I don’t really give a shit which political party you embrace. This past election one thing was hammered home. Misinformation rules.

Is MAD MONEY information or news?

It is a smart 30 minute infomercial

Overt selling messages turns on listener’s defenses

If the listener or viewer thinks you are selling and they turn deaf. They reject commercial speech. But cover your message by pretending to be news and they parrot on your message.

advertising effectiveness

Thumbs down on a Facebook dislike button.

After enough time, misinformation becomes chiseled in stone.

The age of Facebook News is upon us. The New York Times and the Washington Post carry less authority than anything shared by a Facebook friend.

Make up a news source and you can convince most of the population that Hillary might have been born on Jupiter.

What this means

It means advertising needs to become more transparent. Not in the sense that marketers explain they are advertising to you. Transparent in the sense that you can’t really see the intent.

Sponsorship gave us soap operas

advertising effectivenessWhen a radio drama was sponsored by a P&G brand, listeners credited that sponsorship as altruistically supporting the content they loved.

Yesterday, that type of soft sell was naïve. TODAY it is all that is left. That’s my case.

Read some similar topics below.

Changing advertising agencies

Emotional intensity improves advertising

Rescuing News Papers

The failure of your marketing messages


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