TV Advertising's Ongoing Decline

by: Yankee Group

By Carl Howe

I took a minute to read Forrester colleague Josh Bernoff's article from last week where he compared his data with that gathered by CBS's David Poltrack at the Association of National Advertisers meeting. The whole article is chock full of great data noting the decline of TV advertising's effectiveness, but the real value is at the end, when Josh notes that ad execs are blaming the DVR for their own problems:

Two other things happened at the conference that were pretty interesting. First, after David Poltrack spoke, we polled the audience (they had a response device) on whether DVRs were still a threat. (I said "I think this is a good time to use the audience response device." Poltrack said "I don't agree.") 63% said DVRs are a threat -- 24% said they weren't. So clearly they're not buying the networks' claim that there's nothing to worry about.

Second, when we asked the audience "what's the biggest threat to TV advertising?" only 17% said it was DVR ad-skipping. 48% said it was too much ad clutter. TV has created a cluttered environment full of identically-sized 30-second spots. Consumers resent it and try to avoid the ads. And advertisers wonder if it's worth it. It's time for change.

The message here is very clear. The bloom is off the rose for commercials. Advertisers aren't dumping TV -- but they're re-evaluating their headlong commitment to it.

The real question: if someone like Proctor and Gamble dumps TV advertising as its primary medium, where should that money go? The next few years in marketing are going to be very interesting.