So I’m here at the ANA TV Conference and so far, I’ve been on my best behavior and avoided any (cough) bullshit (cough) heckles.
I’m the only blogger here btw
I had hoped to blog live, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a $%^%$#@ wireless connection in the room (some things never change), so now I’ve uploaded from a glorious T-Mobile wi-fi connection in Starbucks.
Last year’s mood/atmosphere was electric (Julie Roehm played a pretty big part in it with her challenging remarks on moving the Upfront to a Stock Market based methodology)
This year, I have to admit that it’s all a little surreal. The best word I would use to describe today is numb. There’s a numbness in the room…shock perhaps. It’s almost as if people have – en masse – come to terms that a new day has dawned.
Think about the movie, “The Perfect Storm,” where the characters have all come to terms with their imminent demise and euphemistically joke around and ignore what is yet to come….OK, perhaps that’s a little overly dramatic (just a tad), but I do think the mood is similar, if perhaps the tidal wave that is on the horizon may not be as “Oh Lord, you are so huge”
People seem to be – unconvincingly I might add – doggedly and stubbornly singing the praises of the 30-second spot and TV advertising in general; throwing out a lot of rhetoric as in “it’s not going away” and “it’s still the most important” etc
Ad Age just reported on the conference and I was a little surprised by their headline, Marketers lose confidence in TV Advertising, which draws from the Forrester research (see below)
Every year, I seem to pick up a new big idea. In 2004, it was the DVR; in 2005 it was the Web; In 2006 it seems to be (I’ll use the American Express term, rolling video stock.
Let me explain….I call it (and have referred to it before as) interconsumptability i.e. interoperability for media consumption. What we’re seeing here is a broad-based awakening that content is content; and what we are witnessing is the explosion of that content across a multitude of delivery vehicles and distribution platforms (iPod, VOD, Web, PSP etc)
On the back page of the New York Times for example, is an ad for ABC News demonstrating its availability across an unprecedented variety of platforms (tangent – TV advertising in Newspaper; perhaps the NAA campaign is working better than we thought)
Now that said, I do believe there is still a monstrous elephant in the room…people talk about TV, but are they talking about content or commercials? It is the former. No one disputes the power of TV (or rolling video stock), although arguably the quality of content has declined, along with fragmented viewership and therefore less ad dollars to support overpaid celebrities. Indeed, considering the average American household is exposed now to 96.4 channels (2005 data), there is more content than every before – targeted, precise and self-selected content.
As my friend, Kia’s Ian Beavis said in his unusually tame address (for him), stop bragging about increased rates in light of decreased viewership, because it brings the CFO into the room and you don’t want the CFO in the room.
I’ll blog (using extended posts) some of the morning panels/presentations in more detail shortly. Some of the highlights include:
- New Forrester research on DVR’s amongst leading national advertisers
o One of the conclusions was that 78% say they have less confidence in the effectiveness of TV advertising compared to 2 years ago…
- Interactive polling of audience (interesting results)
- Case studies/examples of Converse Gallery, Amex M Night long form content, Audi Art of the Heist
Here are a few more poignant takeaways:
- Only 58% of the audience here has a DVR in their homes; seriously, the other 42% should be fired. Unacceptable. Blatantly unacceptable given your responsibility to watch over so much money/budget
- First mention of engagement was at 9.53am by Amex’s Hedleston
- Stephen Berkoff at Audi spoke about rejecting a culture of fear; he also mentioned that we have become somewhat incestuous and inward facing in terms of how we do business…and he is right
- Dave Poltrack embraced the Web, but “attacked” search as a) finite, b) direct marketing and c) “people will eventually run out of things to search” (you got me on this one)
- I asked a question as to whether M Night was an American Express customer before the commercial. The answer was yes. And in fact, this was a criteria in the process i.e. someone who used the brand, understood the brand AND the brand campaign (my life, my card) – good stuff
- Ian mentioned a few great points such as:
o Find a balance between quantitative and qualitative i.e. don’t be so obsessed with ROI to a fault
o Walk the talk (to marketers) – stop bitching and moaning and start acting and doing
- Discovery Channel sponsored the lunch talk and unlike last year’s tremendous gift of a USB kit (mouse, extension, expansion etc), this year there was no gift…times must be tough