The value of the media that airs Super Bowl commercials will go the way of the Dodo bird

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Yes I know it is New years Eve and we all have festivities planned for the clock to midnight and ring in the New Year. Well as part of my goodbye to 2013 … I hope one day the media that charges astronomical amounts to air commercials goes away like 2013. 

Just for the record I am not against commercials! If a commercial encourages someone to do something whether emotional or otherwise is a great thing. The problem I have about the medium airing traditional commercials is that the attribution model really sucks!  Yes I have heard the excuse that certain commercials are “branding” or “awareness” campaigns hence are not measurable! I think that is just a bogus argument! For a “branding” or “awareness” campaign to truly work, there needs to be action that attributed to the campaign, such as more visitors, increase in sales etc. The problem with a commercial airing and the ensuing increase in sale is not directly implied it is best a proxy … which is ridiculous in this day and age.  Why is it that the traditional media companies are charging millions of dollars for mere seconds ? 

The reason I believe is because of something called value to media versus value to customer.  Advertisers in general focus on impressions but there is very little ROI  to show for (there is a fix for that but apparently a lot of folks have not made the leap yet).  Traditional media companies thrive on impressions (whether they convert for business, that is a different matter) and because they own rights to certain events that guarantee eyeballs (i.e. impressions) to advertisers they charge for the medium not for the customer utility.  I understand that Super Bowl commercials are an institution but really! What is the effectiveness of that medium (besides the proxy attribution world we have been living with)? How do you know that some one bought something because they saw a particular Ad on TV or because of a bill board on Times Square? 

This is why I believe the web and mobile will change all this … we are gradually working towards a model where we can attribute what actions caused our clients to do anything whether buy, visit our site, interact with our mobile app etc. Some of the more effective Super Bowl Ads are by Coca Cola (because you get text something back the company). So if a customer found something valuable out a commercial they are willing to text something back … which then feeds  into brand loyalty and potentially future acquisition of a Coca Cola Product. 

In the past commercials relied a lot on the “Halo” effect of their commercials and the traditional media companies made a mint by charging an arm and leg.  In the future traditional media companies need to revisit their business model in order to survive in the commercial world and figure out how they plan to incorporate the “value to customer” angle,  “value of media” is going away  just like 2013.

 

Happy New Year everyone !!  Looking forward to a great 2014!

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