Advertisers Are Increasingly Disenchanted With TV Advertising

On the heels of ad-centric Super Bowl Sunday, we just completed a report based on our survey of 104 national advertisers in a joint study with the ANA, fielded in December 2009 and January 2010. The results illustrate marketers’ continued lack of confidence in the effectiveness of television ads. And while they still express faith in the future of the 30-second spot, advertisers feel that the fundamentals to support their use is in need of an overhaul. Specifically, they express dissatisfaction with the current measurement techniques, an interest in more targeted ads, and a desire for less ad clutter and more relevance.

Respondents to the Association of National Advertisers/Forrester study of national advertisers said their TV ad spending will remain flat this year. Some of the other findings include:

  • A lack of confidence in TV ad effectiveness. Sixty-two percent of respondents think that TV ads have become less effective in the past two years driven largely by ad clutter
  • Renewed faith in the 30-second commercial. Only 19 percent of respondents believe that the 30-second spot will be dead in 10 years, down from 28 percent a year ago.
  • A desire for more targeted TV ads but reluctance to pay for them. Seventy-eight percent of respondents say they would be interested in the ability to target consumers more precisely, but only 59 percent would be willing to pay a premium for it.
  • Dissatisfaction with measurement. Nearly all advertisers who responded think that the TV industry needs new audience metrics beyond reach and frequency, and 82% of respondents would be interested in ratings for individual commercials.
  • High interest in branded entertainment and interactive media.  Eighty percent of advertisers agree that branded entertainment will play much more of a role in TV advertising, and 38 percent plan to spend more on branded entertainment in 2010 as an alternative to the 30-second spot. Social media, web advertising and search are stealing budgets from TV and other media.

I will be presenting the survey results at the ANA’s TV & Everything Video Forum in New York on February 11, 2010. Any feedback before or after the event are welcome.

Full survey results are available to select Forrester clients in the new Forrester report “TV Advertising Budgets Are Under Siege.” ANA members can access the report at http://www.ana.net/thoughtleadership.