Fast forward issue 3


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Fast forward issue 3

  1. 1. The death of the 30 second spot? 3
  2. 2. Introduction Welcome to issue three of Fast Forward, ZenithOptimedia's marketing newsletter. In this issue we discuss the alleged death of the 30 second spot, the traditional unit of television advertising. We brought experts in sponsorship (from Sponsorship Intelligence), product placement (Propaganda), production (Coast) and broadcasting (Discovery Networks) to talk to us about the subject. Among other topics, we discussed how effective the 30 second spot is now, how to make better use of it and combine it with other forms of marketing, the reality of ad avoidance and what can be done about it, and how to get brands into television pro- grammes. This newsletter contains only the highlights of the wide-ranging conversation we had. Jonathan Barnard (ZenithOptimedia) Mick Brown (Coast) Jonathan Gladwin (Propaganda) Andy Kowalczyk (Sponsorship Intelligence) Nick Lawrie (Sponsorship Intelligence) Rupert McPetrie (ZenithOptimedia) Jules Robinson (Discovery Networks) 2
  3. 3. Contents Is the 30 second spot dying? ...............................4 Making better use of the 30 second spot ..........5 Extending the 30 second spot .............................6 Ad avoidance, relevance and incentives .........7 Getting brands into programmes ........................8 3
  4. 4. Is the 30 second spot dying? Television is changing. Digital television Jonathan Barnard (ZenithOptimedia): has greatly expanded the number of Jules Robinson And watching it live, as well. television channels available to viewers; (Discovery): technology like the Personal Video I think creativity is important. The 30 sec- Nick Lawrie Recorder (PVR) has allowed viewers to ond spot is all about creativity and the (Sponsorship take more control over their viewing message. Marketers are having to work Intelligence): experience; and the internet has very harder now and be cleverer to gain Look at the Super Bowl, for instance. It's quickly become a strong competitor for impact. The 30 second spot is not dying, the one event that can draw the whole consumers' time. Several commentators but marketers have to think more about of America together, and advertisers have suggested that these develop- how to use it, and how it works with pay millions for their 30 seconds. ments have made the 30 second spot other forms of marketing. much less effective, and may even be Jules Robinson (Discovery): It's the killing it. It is too early to talk of the Andy Kowalczyk biggest live showcase of advertising, death of the spot, which retains a lot of (Sponsorship possibly in the world. They are tradition- its power, but agencies have to work Intelligence): al ads. harder to get the most out of it. Sport plays an important role in mass TV because it's one thing that people will Jonathan Barnard (ZenithOptimedia): In Jonathan Barnard all converge to watch. It will help keep the Super Bowl the ads are an event in (ZenithOptimedia): the 30 second spot powerful. When the themselves. The next day they'll be So, do we think the 30 second spot is World Cup is on, people want to go to analysed in newspapers around the dying? a trusted broadcaster and hear their world. It's a great example of how ads favourite pundits, so you'll always get are still a form of entertainment. big audiences watching that coverage. Rupert McPetrie Jules Robinson (Discovery): (ZenithOptimedia): When I do focus groups, everyone starts Absolutely not. I think it's a great ques- “Marketers are having to work off saying, 'As soon as I see the ads I get tion for us to address. The TV landscape harder now and be cleverer up and walk out'. Twenty minutes later, is changing so much and the fact that to gain impact. they're saying, 'I love that ad', and they we have such a diverse range of peo- relay it word for word. I think people like ple in the room is testament to that. The 30 second spot is not dying, advertising more than they'll ever admit. The challenge for us all is how to use TV but marketers have to think effectively. The 30 second spot used to more about how to use it, and be the only answer, but there are so how it works with other forms many more opportunities. You can argue that the effectiveness of the 30 of marketing.” second spot in isolation has diminished, but the 30 second spot still plays an Jules Robinson (Discovery) important role as part of an overall communications plan in television. In fact, as technology pro- gresses and the areas in which we can behave com- mercially expand, the 30 second spot will probably make the plan much more effective. 4 0
  5. 5. Making Some people may record a better use match and watch it a week Rupert McPetrie later, but it's old news by (ZenithOptimedia): then. It's the same with reali- The onus is always on the ty TV. You don't want to be buyer to get the most a week behind when you're appropriate placement. The of the talking at the water-cooler. TV buyer will always look for a creative buy; even if you Jules Robinson (Discovery): have a fairly generic mass- 30 second I think it's all about market ad, you can find res- relevance. onance with programmes that are relevant. Or you Mick Brown (Coast): say, 'OK, we know there are spot You need to look at the 30 four things that are relevant second spot through its rela- for the brand. Let's say, coverage). Ads can tionship with the editorial, Formula 1, football, high- also be tailored to the which is the reason why the quality drama and adven- channel in which they consumer is there in the first ture programming. Let's get appear, particularly if place. The challenge is to four bits of copy that work T elevision advertising works the channel serves a special interest. contextualise the message. The media and the creative better when it is relevant to with all those programmes.' should come together to The media buyer would love the viewer. Advertising can Rupert McPetrie reflect the particular inter- be made relevant by forg- to have that at his disposal. (ZenithOptimedia): ests of the consumer. You ing a relationship between Agencies - both cre- want to get your message the spot and the pro- “The challenge is to ative and media - to the consumer through an gramme that surrounds it: have tried to make interest that you demon- contextualise the either a direct relationship the traditional spot strate you both share. message. The media (such as a car ad in Formula that bit more effec- and the creative 1 coverage), or an indirect tive. They are looking But in mass TV, you don't should come together one (such as a beer ad with to the future, but still normally make your ad to a rugby theme in rugby using the foundation work around a particular to reflect the of the 30 second spot. programme, because you particular interests of Think of interactive don't know where it's going the consumer. You ads, which have been to go. The media buyer can want to get your around for a while put it in the context of the now. More recently, target audience, but not of message to the think of live ads - a the editorial, unless you consumer through an beer ad in the Rugby have very specifically set interest that you World Cup, for exam- out to make an ad that is demonstrate you both ple, which showed around that programme. the score at half time. That does happen, but it's share.” That to me is brilliant not common. because, one, this is Mick Brown (Coast) the right brand for the Jules Robinson (Discovery): programme and, two, I think fundamentally peo- Jules Robinson (Discovery): you're exploiting the ple are still making ads to We have lots of clients tak- technology, making appeal to a specific audi- ing their 30 second ad, the ad that much ence. You then have to find which is used across many more relevant and the right environment. channels, and adding to engaging. that a vignette piece that Mick Brown (Coast): localises it to each channel. If you have a time- You take the consumer They're using that 30 sec- sensitive message you through a shared interest, onds for broad messaging need to pick a pro- which is the hook, to a mes- and then adding on a bit gramme that con- sage about your brand. that fits it into the sumers will watch live. That way necessitates multi- environment. ple creative executions. 5
  6. 6. Extending the 30 second spot Rupert McPetrie (ZenithOptimedia): more about viewing and purchas- “...given the choice I think that creativity comes in two ing behaviour in digital homes. It's forms; there's the actual creative only once you have the proof of and power that view- of the commercial, but there's also the creative way in which we use that relationship between expo- sure and engagement that we ers now have, Agencies have to make better use of the spot because viewers have media and all the means of can then really understand how how do we move from reaching the target market. Part of well the 30 second spot works, and more choice and power over what the bigger question is, given the how it interacts with the surround- just exposure, which a they watch. However, the technol- ogy that gives viewers this choice choice and power that viewers ing content and other points of 30 second prime-time now have, how do we move from contact. and power also allows agencies to just exposure, which a 30 second spot gives us, understand more about viewers and assess the effect of television prime-time spot gives us, to Jules Robinson (Discovery): to engagement? engagement? We really need to Taking a step back, the heart of a advertising more accurately. It communicate, almost on a per- campaign is the client's creative, We really need to allows agencies to extend cam- paigns that are based on the 30 sonal basis, with the viewer. The the way they want to be present- communicate, viewer can now choose to watch ed and the message they want to second spot into other forms of media and marketing. These work programmes through a TV, get across. We are asked how we almost on a personal together with the spot to engage through a PC or on a mobile can take our shows and use them basis, with the phone. There are so many differ- to make the creative more rele- the viewer and forge a stronger relationship between the viewer ent points for viewing the message vant. We can then create online viewer.” and the brand. that our job as an agency has content and hold special events. become that much more compli- For instance, we put together a cated. But if we conduct research massive, global package for a Rupert McPetrie and gain insight from media own- tourism office, where we used rele- (ZenithOptimedia) Nick Lawrie (Sponsorship Intelligence): ers, then the effectiveness can be vant shows and created vignettes, Media owners are now offering that much greater. competitions and websites. We much more diverse platforms, so a were involved in tourism events so marketer can come in with cre- Andy Kowalczyk the client could communicate ative ideas for a 30 second spot (Sponsorship Intelligence): with travel agents and not just the but also link into all sorts of other It used to be very much a case of consumer. The media owner media elements. push; you used to push these 30 became part of their marketing second ads out to a mass of peo- department, working with their ple, hoping that a certain number agency to produce a campaign would pick up that ad, recall it on a global scale, in many lan- and then go out and buy that guages. product. Now it's a lot more about pulling people toward you and We've had to develop part of our your brand and your product, business to make it possible to fully through TV, internet and all the dif-sponsor a proper multimedia plat- ferent platforms. form, rather than just negotiating an ad spot. For years TV has Jules Robinson (Discovery): been about awareness; there's We have a very media-savvy audi- no better medium for building ence. People know when they're awareness and understand- being sold to. This means we have ing of a product. Now TV to be clever, and expand beyond can do more and that's the 30 second spot, rather than exciting. see the death of it. This would then mean extending campaigns online and introducing competi- tions to increase exposure, as well as putting them into context within the programmes they air in. Rupert McPetrie (ZenithOptimedia): The good news about the way the market is evolving is that everyone has to think more, not just because there's choice, but because new technologies help us understand 6
  7. 7. Ad avoidance, relevance and incentives PVRs and internet video make it Mick Brown (Coast): But don't people engage- easier for viewers to avoid ads, still flick through the ads? ment? Can we make though by no means all those who Rupert McPetrie (ZenithOptimedia): people have the ability to avoid ads watch an You're right that when people record actually do. Still, the spread of programmes, a proportion of them do ad? Or do we incen- ad-avoidance technology makes it fast forward the ads. But those who tivise them? The broadcaster can important to ensure that ads are don't are more attentive to the advertis- let viewers earn reward points by relevant to viewers, and to give ing, because they have selected that watching ads, for example. viewers reasons to pay attention programme and taken the time to sit to them. down and watch it. Andy Kowlaczyk (Sponsorship Intelligence): You have to give people Rupert McPetrie (ZenithOptimedia): The Andy Kowlaczyk (Sponsorship reasons to watch ads. conventional wisdom is that traditional Intelligence): Internet penetration is media is suffering as technology devel- high and broadband speeds are get- Mick Brown (Coast): Consumers are ask- ops. To a degree that's true, but people ting to the level where we can actually ing why the advertiser is there. actually watch more television when watch high-quality coverage on our Advertisers need to ask how they can they have more choice. We have to be PCs. At that point you can avoid the be relevant. a bit smarter about where we try to ads. reach these people because the audi- Jules Robinson (Discovery): I think it's still fundamentally about programmes, and ence is more fragmented, but more “...broadband speeds entertaining people or informing people choice does mean more viewing. are getting to the level in the right way. You've got to be care- ful about forcing someone to do some- When you look at early audience data from homes with PVRs, a lot of pro- where we can actually thing that then ruins their experience. We shouldn't put more barri- grammes were being recorded and a lot of the playback was being fast for- watch high-quality ers between viewers and programmes, warded through the ads. That gave us coverage on our PCs. because what the a problem. But the people who bought this equipment were the early adopters, At that point you can internet has done is told consumers, who don't have traditional viewing habits anyway and have a high under- avoid the ads.” 'You can go anywhere'. standing of the kit. In fact, as the uni- Andy Kowlaczyk verse of those who have PVRs increas- (Sponsorship Intelligence) es, the ad avoidance data suggests that we're not missing all that much commercial viewing. Ad avoidance is a Rupert McPetrie (ZenithOptimedia): challenge and we'd be foolish not to There are ways of signposting the ads think about how we can deal with that that are about to come on air. Look at in the future, but there are already the listing pages in your newspaper on some great examples of a more your way home; there will be some sign- creative approach being posting for an ad that will be on later used to try and negate tonight. You can signpost on air. We did that effect. it for one of our clients; we got the channel to say at the end of the pro- gramme, 'Stay tuned to this break to see this exciting devel- opment about your credit card'. Looking to the future, are there ways that we can use this technology, which we perceive as a threat, to force 7
  8. 8. Getting brands into programmes Even if viewers start important now, because all surrounded by brands Jules Robinson avoiding ads in large you can't avoid them. every day. The day it (Discovery): We have numbers, they won't be Break sponsorship is very becomes uncomfort- Jules Robinson interactive TV now, so able to avoid brands good because it tells able is when viewers (Discovery): The main there is already a two- that appear in the pro- viewers who are fast for- feels a brand has been point I've picked up way process in TV. Now grammes they watch, warding the ads when shoehorned into a show from this is the question video creators and hence the growing inter- the programme will start where it doesn't fit. of how to bring brands broadcasters are explor- est in sponsorship and again. into programmes and ing this online. product placement. Mick Brown (Coast): how to pull down the Product placement rules The problem is when you walls, without affecting Jonathan Barnard vary from country to Mick Brown want to make the prod- the credibility of the (ZenithOptimedia): country; it is common in (Coast): uct the hero and you broadcaster. Going back to the 30 the Americas and Asia, Because it's a signpost. focus in too much on it; Fundamentally, I think second spot, we already but banned (at least in nobody wants that. broadcasters need to have interactive ads, most forms) in much of “We’ve got to make retain the responsibility but the scope of inter- Europe. Even in coun- Jonathan Gladwin for the quality of their action is still quite limit- sure the audience tries where it is banned, (Propaganda): It's the programming. ed. As this sort of tech- brands can often be feels comfortable difference between the nology becomes more placed in programmes with the brand being product being the hero Andy Kowalczyk where their appearance there. And audi- and being just part and (Sponsorship “...people don't mind is editorially justified, as ences expect to see parcel of the action. But Intelligence): There will sponsors being there long as there is no edito- the brands in pro- you want it to be natu- be more options in the ral; you don't want it to future. I saw Microsoft any more, as long as rial interference. grammes.” jar. Leave the produc- give a presentation on they don't get too Wherever it takes place, tion company to natu- new technology, using intrusive and the Jonathan Gladwin product placement (Propaganda) ralise the products in the Friends as an example. sponsorship needs to be conducted shows, then let the 30 You clicked on Rachel's is relevant.” carefully, to avoid alien- second ad do all the jacket and the television ating the viewer and sales pitch in that con- took you to a shop Andy Kowlaczyk ensure the broadcaster Jonathan trolled space. where you could actual- (Sponsorship Intelligence) retains its credibility. Barnard ly buy that jacket. It (ZenithOptimedia): Andy Kowlaczyk stopped the programme In the future, technology Clearly, we have to be (Sponsorship coverage, allowed you common, it will allow us is likely to make product very sensitive about how Intelligence): I don't to buy the jacket and, to do so much more placement more power- we get brands into con- think brands have to be when you'd finished, with television ads: to ful, by allowing viewers tent. too sensitive about carried on from where it take consumers directly to find information about product placement, left off. from ad to website to the products they see on Jonathan because people are purchase, for example, screen, or even buy Gladwin savvy now; they under- Jonathan Gladwin or engage them with them, with a touch of a (Propaganda): stand what's going on. (Propaganda): I think personalised content. button or click of a It's about making sure They understand that that's the key, getting mouse. This technology that the programmes these programmes need products into the con- should also do the same we're working on fit with investment. We've done tent and allowing peo- for the 30 second spot, the brand, and making a lot of research that ple to adapt to that. As by helping advertisers that fit right and rele- shows people don't technology develops interact and engage vant for the audience. mind sponsors being we will be able to go with viewers more We've got to make sure there any more, as long from seeing a product in closely. the audience feels com- as they don't get too a programme to buying fortable with the brand intrusive and the spon- it, and to click on on- Andy being there. And audi- sorship is relevant and in screen text to go to a Kowalczyk ences expect to see the context. website. (Sponsorship brands in programmes. Intelligence): Product They don't expect to see placement and sponsor- no brands in a pro- ship - having brands gramme, because that exposed within cover- doesn't feel right. We're age - are becoming so If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything you have read here, please contact your local ZenithOptimedia office 8 or Jonathan Barnard, Head of Publications (+44 20 7961 1192,