In the current advertising landscape, brands have a lot to contend with when considering how they position themselves. Companies are treading lightly to avoid sounding tone-deaf or insensitive. Take the Facebook boycott, for instance. As misinformation spread on the platform, an ultimatum was issued: Facebook needs to change its rules, or brands would pull their ads from the platform.
Advertisers are concerned about messages potentially damaging to their brand image and relationships with customers. If an ad appears next to a post that is spreading something hateful, consumers could associate one message with another. As the list of companies pulling ads grow, the question that begs to be asked is, how can brands continue to maintain and grow their business without advertising on the largest social media walled garden?
The pandemic has brought a change to the landscape of TV marketing, and a recent CMO survey from Deloitte, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and the AMA outline that consumers are becoming more receptive of companies promoting social good. Consumers prioritize trusted relationships with brands and will reward brands who are actively participating in social activism and outreach. Brands who utilize their broad platforms to spread accurate information and invest in social change appeal to consumers who see brand relationships as an extension of themselves instead of a business transaction.
Many aspects of life have shifted as well, with shutdowns forcing nearly 158 million Americans home, and people are turning on their TVs to stay up to date on the news and curb boredom. Three-fourths of U.S. consumers have upgraded streaming subscriptions and TV-connected devices, according to Nielsen, to stay connected to the press while at home. As attention to TV grows and changes in the marketing landscape occur, brands are beginning to improvise and are now turning back to TV advertising to fulfill their needs for a national reach and reconnect with their audiences.
Turning Toward TV
Focusing ad dollars on TV is making a lot of sense to advertisers. It’s “the ultimate brand-safe medium,” writes TV [R] EV’s Alan Wolk. Advertisers can avoid channels with polarizing shows and make use of high engagement as their audiences watch at home. And with TV advertising’s sophisticated targeting abilities today, advertisers can speak to their audiences at the device-level.
TV also has the power to create an emotional connection with consumers in a way that social media ads cannot. A campaign’s sight and sounds are easier to remember than a desktop ad that is thrown in with several other ads on the same web page. Neuroscience studies show that we use the same part of our brain to process music and our emotions and memories. TV ads are memorable because their music drives the action of the ad matched with compelling visuals, which create a more impactful storyline. Audiences give TV ads more focus because only one ad runs at a time, and with the proper audience segmentation, that demographic will be more engaged.
Reacting decisively is vital for brands as consumers scrutinize companies’ actions during the pandemic; the Facebook boycott being one example. Utilizing the broad reach of TV, brands can create thoughtful campaigns that highlight the transparency of company actions. Furthermore, the TV medium continues to rate as the most effective form of catching consumers’ attention. According to research by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, consumers are three times more likely to respond to TV advertising than messages delivered through other mediums.
Social media advertising is the new kid on the block. Still, TV advertising has legacy and prestige that appeal to consumers in a way that native advertising has yet to achieve. Paying for a Superbowl ad is more impressive because those ads deliver greater ROI and increase brand recall. The TV medium is safer for brands, more memorable for consumers, and has evolved to be more advanced for advertisers. Facebook ads are convenient to click on and can yield a temporary increase in traffic, but an effective TV campaign will be remembered for decades.