Another Reason Why Conventional TV Advertising is a Waste of Money for Most Businesses

by Nick Nichols, Strategic Marketing Expert

Recently I got new cable TV service from Dish Network and among the cool features is the capability to start watching a program in one room, pause it, then resume watching in another room via their "Joey" boxes.

 The service also automatically keeps track of and stores prime-time programs on the major "broadcast" networks (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC ) for a week so you can watch your favorite shows when you want to watch them! It’s all part of their "Hopper" system. Recently I noticed a new feature: AUTOMATIC COMMERCIAL SKIPPING! That’s right, when I cue up a stored prime-time show the system asks if I want to automatically skip the commercial breaks within the show! Of course I do! Why?

Most television ads are totally untargeted and, therefore, are both a waste of money for the advertiser and an annoyance to the viewer. The DVR has already made conventional TV ads impotent via fast-forwarding. Now, with the Hopper, TV ads are INVISIBLE!

Here are my top 3 predictions for the conventional TV ad industry:

  1. Soon, commercial skipping options will become ubiquitous, rendering the conventional method of TV advertising obsolete (if it isn’t already).
  2. In order to retain advertisers, the commercial television industry will need to start embedding products and services into the plot lines of shows, so if you fast-forward, you miss the action.
  3. This kind of product placement will force advertisers to get creative and start associating real benefits and value with their products and services.

This is the start of the most radical paradigm shift in television advertising since the debut of the long-form infomercial. Television network executives, advertising agency creative directors and corporate brand managers better start taking action or risk a complete collapse of their revenue bases.