There’s a lot of talk about how tablets and smartphones are changing the way we view TV.
And while that may be true, I think the bigger change is in how tablets and smartphones are changing the purpose of TV commercials themselves.
In the past, an advertiser hoped that a TV commercial would drive someone into the store to buy the product.
But today, as more and more people are using their tablet or smartphone while watching TV, instead of going to the store, viewers are going to their second screen – to find out more about the product.
How does this change the nature of a TV commercial?
The job of a TV commercial used to be to make the sale. It all had to happened within 30 seconds.
I think the job of a commercial today is to drive viewers to find out more about the product online. And that today, it is online where the sale is made.
After all, online, the brand has as much time as it wants to convince the consumer why it’s better.
In that sense, online is like brand theater – where the big picture plays.
Which allows a TV commercial to become more like a movie trailer – driving people to the (brand) theater.
Will this make for better TV commercials?
We can only hope.