Launch now TV Brand Darwinism (the survival of the fittest and funniest) means that only the most powerful brands with the greatest communications legacies will survive in the new TV landscape. This will not be the place to launch brands in the future so bring forward your brand launch plans
Create the TV you need When people watch TV live from the disk they don’t skip ads. It is in every advertiser’s interests to ensure that the schedule contains a healthy proportion of ‘must watch live TV’. Work with broadcasters to ensure this is the case.
Change your pre-testing criteria The most important question for any new campaign is not whether it communicates but whether anyone will bother watching it in the first place. And if they do, for how long do they watch it? The way you evaluate your advertising ideas needs to reflect this
Get the sponsorship habit back Whatever the value of associating your brand with particular programming there is a big new reason to get keen on sponsorship. Idents are a key navigation tool for PVR users signalling the end of the break. Surrender your pre break bumpers and double the length of bumpers at the end of the break
Understand the power of fast forward At present advertising recall is no lower in in PVR than linear TV households. This suggests that either live programming advertising exposure is sufficient or that ads watched on fast forward have some value as recent research has suggested. You need to understand what this value is and pay for it appropriately.
Be first in break If you are going to use interruptive advertising get your interruption in early – before the fast forward button is pressed. And make sure that nothing comes between the last frame of the programme and the first frame of your ad. Whether people watch the ad is then down to whether it is any good – you better hope it is
Back the winners Research shows that ad avoidance is category specific. Financial service brands are going to find it tougher than entertainment brands, fact. And within categories ad avoidance is brand specific with more familiar or engaging brands more likely to get listened to. Put your TV cash behind the brands best placed to return that investment
Challenge media dogma Should coverage and frequency be your media mantra? Arguably TV advertising will reach fewer people, less often but with the power to be far more relevant and offering a far richer brand experience. Relevant contact and depth of experience should replace coverage and frequency.
In the short term play with the technology PVRs allow consumers to do extraordinary things with the TV – to time shift (even by a few seconds), to pause, to rewind, to record two programmes at the same time and to organise their own schedules. The same functionality can now be applied to advertising – looks like time to have some fun.
In the mid term harness the technology Shortly there will be millions of TVs with whopping great hard disks underneath them, containing unparalleled information about the viewer and their behaviour. Far from a threat to marketing PVR technology may resolve many of the downsides of TV as a medium from atrocious targeting to shallow brand experiences
Get serious about interactive TV Few advertisers have really explored the full potential of interactive TV – access to a brand space offering far deeper levels of experience and reward. Interactive TV will no longer be about brand response but brand involvement
Rethink the structure of your advertising In a PVR word not only will the ad sell the brand but the brand will sell the ad. If your brand is potent and has a strong communications legacy, brand the beginning and not the end of your commercials. If it isn’t you have 5 years to change this
Treat communications like content Read my lips – why would anyone want to listen to what you have to say? That is the fundamental lesson to be learned if your brand is going to continue to have a voice on TV. This is a discipline programme makers have understood for decades
Go shorter and longer The 30 second TV ad was always a bit of a compromise – too short for someone interested in what you have to say and too long for the rest of us. The future belongs to the short form directional advertisement (ads for ads if you like) and more involving longer form communications outside the broadcast stream
Don’t be seduced by easy answers I like product placement and branded content as much as the next person. But it is folly to suggest that they are a panacea for all the ills that PVRs will visit up TV advertising. There simply isn’t an easy answer so resist the advances of the content charlatans that suggest otherwise.
Everything is viral Even if the television medium works less effectively in the future that does not mean that the brand film will cease to be one of the most powerful selling tools. Find as many ways as possible to distribute your brand content to the audience. But remember that the most efficient form of distribution is consumer to consumer and that means creating work that people want to share
Be excited, be very excited Fear has no place in the future. The sooner you get excited about television in a PVR era the sooner you will work out how to make sure your brand maintains a strong voice in the market
It is the creative stupid Establish a reputation for creative excellence because creativity matters like it has never done before. It is not about cut through it is a fundamental reason why anyone should give you the time of day when they are armed to the teeth to kill your communication
Stop reading this Start doing it . Right now you have time to experiment, take some risks and make some mistakes. But be under no illusion time is running out