Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Beauty of the 30 Second Spot

One thing I have beaten to death is measurability and wastage in the Advertising Industry. And I have discussed the issue with Nielsen pumping inflated, deflated, or just plain inaccurate TV/Cable ratings due to a flawed system. And I will admit this is a topic of interest with clients, and I will tell them it is almost impossible to prove someone watched your 30 second commercial. Were they in the room? Were they using a laptop or mobile device curing the commercial? Even polling won't fix things. Yes the subject remembers your commercial. But you bought 6-8 spots during the football game. Did he watch all 6 of exactly the same commercial? So many unanswered questions that not only are almost impossible to solve, but they will remain impossible until people agree to electronic brain impulse monitoring in mass numbers in a way that the monitor can actually confirm you viewed and remembered the advertisement! Good luck!

But figuring out a realistic CPM can be solved relatively easily with an educated guess. And that CPM is higher than the rate published on purchase contracts for the TV/Cable air time. But I am a firm believer that the value of each viewer who truly watches your 30 second spot is probably higher than the realistic estimate. The internet and mobile have presaged the death of the TV Commercial but not medium is as perfect for telling your story, building brand image and personality, exposing consumers to new products, and engaging them for that period of time. Even if I went to a Brand's website I might click on 10 web pages in 30 secs of my choosing (vs choreographed by the Brand), and I might stay 5 seconds of 5 mins. Maybe I will leave the site up in a Browser Tab for 6 hours inflating the Time Spent metric for the website.

But with that 30 second spot you can make people laugh, tell a serious story, pimp your business or product in glowing terms, or major promotional announcements on your terms. And while I will be the first to say that after seeing an Ad once or twice the rest is wasted Ad Dollars spent, there really is not perfect way to fix the shot gun approach of buying slots all over the place to blanket the airwaves in hopes that if you watch TV/Cable at all, you are likely to see an Ad if you fall in the proper age demographic.

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