used to be the time to get up and stretch the ol' legs, get a snack or let
the dog out. Today, they are the signal to hit the fast forward button on
The advent of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), often referred to by one of
the leading brand names, TIVO, has finally given the viewer a break from
the background noise of television advertising. Instead of being screamed
at by local car dealers, pitched on the ShamWow or told repeatedly to not
squeeze the Charmin, many consumers who subscribe to cable TV these days
just zoom past the commercials without ever giving them a second look.
Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay, the creators of TIVO, don't even view their
creation as a consumer product. They call it a "public service."
The consumer backlash against advertising has been building for years, and
it is in all sectors. Even as advertisers shift their budgets from
traditional to online media consumers are feeling empowered and fleeing
advertising at every turn.
But don't take my word for it.
A study published late last year by the Association of National
Advertisers (ANA) makes it very clear that advertising industry insiders
are running for the hills. The writing is on the wall when the ANA itself
reveals that, "More than 80 percent of advertising executives believe
that DVRs will have a serious negative impact on the effectiveness of TV
advertising...changes in DVR penetration and DVR usage will result in
changes in commercial viewership and changes in the cost of TV
advertising. These changes, in turn, will affect the effectiveness of TV
advertising, requiring a continuous revision of the tailored strategic
response to maintain advertising spending efficiency."
With consumers finally in the driver's seat as regards their exposure to
TV ads, savvy marketers are looking at the alternatives to expensive TV
spots, especially when the penetration of paid TV advertising continues to
be eroded by the growth of the DVR.
And that brings us to the
point I really want to get across.
Today it is more important than ever to actually be IN the show, rather
than have your message relegated to a few seconds in between the show's
segments, lost in the fast-forward blur.
So what does "in the show" mean? It means you or your company's
CEO or spokesperson booked as an expert guest on talk shows, or
interviewed as an expert commentator on the news story du jour. It means
you are part of the entertainment, not just another commercial spot-boring
at best, most often annoying.
Being a part of the entertainment, instead of the interruption, delivers
tremendous value in several other important ways. The most important of
these is that people trust the news far more than paid ads. The tacit
endorsement of a TV talk show host or news reporter carries much more
weight with consumers-a favorable interview is seen as an implicit
endorsement for your products, services or book.
A great example of this value is now known as "The Oprah
Effect." Ten years ago, Oprah chose Spanx shapewear as one of her
"Favorite Things," and sales boomed for the Atlanta-based
clothing company that manufactures the line. Countless authors, companies,
and even other television personalities (anyone heard of Dr. Phil?), owe
their good fortune to Oprah's endorsement.
Now granted, there is really only one Oprah, but interviews on other
television talk shows can have a similar effect on the market's perception
of your products or book-even if it is not quite as drastic as an Oprah
Is it time for you to look at how the increased media coverage of a good
PR campaign could give your product or service a competitive edge? Next
time you sit down to watch your favorite TV news or talk show, think about
how the guests and expert commentators on the show appeared. If you
watched the same "expert" pitching his product in a TV spot,
would you have been as convinced of its value?
More to the point...would you actually have watched the TV commercial? I
personally don't think I could actually sit through another 30 seconds of
the brunette selling Progressive Insurance...hurry, where's the remote?
For 20 years
Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public
relations as CEO of
EMSI. Go to www.emsincoporated.com
to signup for her free PR Insider Newsletter today! Or call at
727-443-7115, ext. 202, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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