Posted on 30 August 2009.
So according to this morning’s Australian, Pay-TV advertising grew just 0.1 per cent to remain at $147million for the half year, individual pay-TV channel bosses were told earlier this month.
The fact that it remained static is a good result, after all, its free to air counterpart advertising toppled 11.8 per cent over the same six month period to June to $1.547 billion.
The sources that spilled the beans to the Australian also said the Australian Subscription TV and Radio Association, which collects the data, was not expected to make it public, given growth slowed from 15 per cent last year and 30 per cent in 2007.
No surprises there. It’s going to be tough to admit it. Advertising, in the way it’s always been created, as a primary form of convincing your customers to buy your product or brand, is dying.
Advertising agencies, aware the the world is not responding in the same way to the ads, aren’t changing their game quickly enough. They still peddle out the same old stuff, slotted in between programming on TV, and remarkably marketers still expect it to work.
It will be a long, painful death since entire television networks are dependent upon that advertising revenue – which is heading south – and rapidly. They need to change their game – most of them are probably trying to figure how the hell to do it.
The fact is that there are too many products and brands in the market. The fact also is that consumers are sick of being bombarded by advertisements that either all claim the same thing (my brand is better than your brand) or claim things that are completely unbelievable.
Yawn. It’s boring. And increasing your media placement isn’t going to help your cause either, thanks to a handy remote control. Consumers are sick of it. They are sick of your ads. They stopped listening a long time ago. They’ve heard it all before and too often.
It doesn’t help TV that Internet time in Australia has now surpassed TV viewing time – even if the figures can be hard to untangle since many people surf the Net while watching TV. But advertisers follow consumers – and if consumers are heading online, so too will the big advertising budgets.
So What Are Marketers Supposed To Do?
There is still plenty you can do to build a brand, but rather than take long lunches with smooth-talking ad execs in fancy restaurants, get down to some brand basics.
Turn to public relations to build brand credibility. The new-look public relations machine still uses traditional media but it also seeks to engage bloggers, social media and online influencers as part of the mix.
Change how you advertise. Rather than push the same old tired messages to your increasingly bored audience, deliver them fresh content, something that is different enough to all the ho-hum out there that the consumer will sit up and take notice. Deliver a genuine, new value proposition – not some dull message about how good you think you are.
If you’re lucky, and it is interesting enough to capture the imagination, the mainstream media will pick up on it and display your advertising for you. That might save you a bundle in ad slots.
Offer consumers something where they can engage in the brand – so that they will talk about it amongst each other. Skyrock is one of the best examples around. They produce advertising content that users want to share amongst friends and people they know.
We already know that this works. Take another look at how Dave Carroll gave the United Airlines brand a thump. So far, his sorry tale about his bad customer experience has been viewed more than 5.3M times. And it’s forced change within United Airlines.
So get to it, marketers. Stop tipping your budgets into stuff that doesn’t work. Take a deep breathe, put your thinking cap on, develop a product that is genuinely different and have a good story to tell.
Then think about how you’re going to tell it.
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