In the second part of his persuasive argument on the impending shift of advertising budgets away from Television, the author looks at the advantage of the Digital medium from a brand and audience perspective.
Well, the points made earlier, in Part 1 of this article were just counters to the key advantages offered by TV. But there's a lot more that Digital provides which completely tilt the scale in favour of Digital advertising versus TV.
- Length of the story: What's better as a storytelling platform than a 30-second audio-visual format? Maybe a 60-second one. Or perhaps 2 minutes, or 5 or even 10 minutes? Only, if you were to play these on the extremely expensive TV channels, you'd be down by a huge part of your budget. Digital, on the other hand, is not as constrained for space or time, and you could easily tell your story over a longer duration, as long as you can hold the viewer's attention.
- Much improved audience targeting: There is just, such an immense amount of targeting opportunity available on Digital now, from targeting options that say, a Facebook offers, or an even sharper audience targeting that programmatic media offers, that the advertiser could easily buy reach that matters, and have minimum wastage!
- The story does not end with the commercial: On Television, you could have the most compelling advertisement, generating amazing emotions from the viewer, but then, he still needs to go to the store to purchase. Howsoever convinced she may be, on seeing the advertisement, as the moment passes, the window of opportunity is gone. Whereas, on Digital, even as she is viewing the advertisement, or just after it, all it takes is one more click to get to the online store, and perhaps go ahead and purchase. Or place an order, or put out a lead. From passive viewing to active participation!
- Non-linear viewing: A lot of television is consumed via recorded TV (DVR). For an advertiser, if the audience is not present or not attentive, when the ad plays out on TV, that's money down the drain. But with Digital, the ad/video can play any time of the day or night, and with programmatic audience targeting, in fact, it can play closest to the moment when the viewer is likely to be most receptive to the ad.
With all of these arguments in favour of Digital, the expensive seconds of Television media are clearly threatened. It is an inflection point, and the response of mainstream TV will decide how quickly the balance changes. Or not.
Can TV also get more intelligent via desktop boxes? Will the rates of TV advertising drop dramatically, in response? It may be noted that creative brilliance will still be required, irrespective of the medium. What will score, eventually, will be the quality of content. Just the medium of broadcast, and that one part of the budget that consumes the maximum dollars today, is under challenge!
Sanjay Mehta is the Joint CEO of Mirum (India), a WPP digital agency. Views expressed here are personal.