01 Nov The future of interruptive TV advertising
There’s a great deal of excitement around connectivity as the future of TV. I’m personally sure it is, but let’s first divorce content and platform. Content has evolved significantly in the past ten years, but right now the TV platform is undergoing a major revolution which will change consumer behavior.
Why is this important?
Consider first that, globally, TV still counts for the largest slice of ad spend, and that agencies’ business models are built around production margins.
Then consider this home scenario: it’s the not too distant future, you’re at home watching your favorite TV show on your new Smart TV. You spy a pair of sneakers you like the look of, worn by the hero in the show. You hold up your hand and say STOP! The picture freezes immediately, and your hand becomes a pointer on the screen. You move your pointer to the sneakers you spotted. With a flick of the wrist you drag the sneakers into the corner and they appear on your second screen, most probably your Smart Phone. That display shows the sneakers and a selection of the best prices and delivery slots you can access. Better yet, your phone geo-locates your nearest store and offers you a promotion to buy it there. You touch your tiny screen to order and pay, and a receipt arrives for you to go collect them on your way home from work tomorrow. You carry on watching.
Sound like science fiction? It’s more like science fact: the reality is that it’s right around the corner. OK, so Smart TV’s are not at their peak yet, but things will move very fast – a side nod here to the fact that the iPhone is only 5 years old and has sold over 250 million units, or that the iPad, which is only two-years-old, and is responsible for driving a tablet market that has been adopted by 25% of the US internet population so far. It is happening already with platforms like Zeebox, Microsoft SmartGlass and Watch With Ebay. What will make things move at a greater pace than ever is that Smart TV can stand on the shoulders of established web and mobile platforms, practices and eco-systems.
What’s most pertinent to me here is that there is no ‘interruptive’ advertising in the sneaker scenario. If we consider that for a second, it feels that the future of marketers and advertisers is going to have to move fast, because right now it could be said that interruptive advertising is what currently underpins the advertising and marketing communications industry.
This means that brands and ad agencies must adapt their thinking now and adopt new skills if they want to be as strong in a post-interruptive era.
How do they do this?
To capitalize on this scenario above, brands need ecosystems and platforms. They need to have their content, products, promotions and data coordinated across platforms.
In all fairness this won’t happen overnight either for the consumer or the brand or the agency. But it will happen, and it will happen faster and with more impact than it did with the print industry because the infrastructure is all there, more ready to go than it was 10 years ago when the web took out the newsstand.
Most organizations we speak to face the challenge of finding the knowledge to strategize their way forwards, and beyond that there’s the long challenge of evolving the internal workforce to adapt to a more technical skills requirement.
What can you do about it?
Have the conversation. Acknowledge where you want to be in five years-time. Find out the key building blocks and skills you need to get there and structure your strategies around building towards your final destination. It’s as simple as that!