Monday, November 19, 2012

The Relationship Between TV and Online

There’s a lot of talk these days about how online will replace TV. 

And, an equal amount of research that shows this isn’t going to happen anytime soon.   To this end, take a look at the following. 

According to Nielsen’s 2012 Q2 Cross-Platform Report the average American spends 1,905 minutes a week watching live TV and 44 minutes watching video on line.

That’s quite a discrepancy.

And, to me, at least, it points out that we need to be talking less about whether one will replace the other, and more about how one can best work with the other.

How does TV affect online behavior and vice versa?

We know that more and more people are watching TV with another screen – either a phone or tablet – in their immediate vicinity.  Logic seems to indicate that this method of two-screen access will only increase over time.

Knowing this, how should TV advertising adjust in the way that it communicates?

Let’s say when watching a TV commercial, a viewer’s interest is piqued?  What’s the next logical step? 

What I do is try to find out more online by going to the URL indicated in the TV commercial or, to the brand’s website.  The difference is that instead of doing it in a couple of hours, or, the next day; I do it immediately, as my tablet is right there.

If the attitude of the website matches the attitude communicated in the advertising, I can explore online for as long as I’m interested. 

If the attitude of the website doesn’t match the attitude of the TV commercial, it smells like someone is trying to sell me something and I leave. 

You see, while I like to buy, I don’t like to be sold.

In the past, the TV commercial's objective was different - it needed to make the sale.  Today, the sale is made as I explore the product online, on my own time.  The new “first shelf,” if you will, is the website – not the shelf in the grocery store, or, the car dealership.

One way to look at it is to think of your website as your brand’s theater – where you have more time to bring the brand to life for your customers.

Carrying this thought process out further will soon have you thinking the way I do - that TV commercials should act more as trailers – their sole purpose being to drive people to your brand's theater.

If the objective of TV advertising becomes less about selling and more about getting people to spend more time with the brand online, then the quality of TV advertising has no choice but to change.

For the better?

Well, really, could it get any worse?

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