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Where Will They See Your Commercial — TV or YouTube?

April 15th, 2009 by Bob Bly

The Internet is where it’s at in marketing today, and online video is exploding.

But a study from the Council for Research Excellence concludes that “TV is still by far the most popular medium for all consumers, both young and old.”

The study found that the average consumer spends only 2 minutes a day watching free TV via the Internet.

But those same consumers are exposed to “roughly an hour a day of advertising and promotions” on regular TV.

Conclusion: the death of TV as an advertising medium, even with Tivo, is greatly exaggerated.

Source: The Talon Newsletter, 4/09, p. 3.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 at 8:09 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

40 responses about “Where Will They See Your Commercial — TV or YouTube?”

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  2. Ryan said:

    What is dead is newspapers though. I’m glad I have a Mac computer because if I need to look up a word all I have to do is drag it to my dictionary. The arrogance of newspaper columnists is killing their medium. If they would write their column using words that most people would understand instead of trying to show off how smart they are then they may have a job a while longer. The way it is now I would have to carry a dictionary around. I’ll do that….Not!

  3. Ken - BalanceAdSolutions said:

    That sounds about right in my experience…now only if they could not make the tv commercials so stupid and image based we’d all be better for it.

  4. Fiona Fell - websitePROFITS said:

    Ken, I think commericals that aren’t image based are called info-mercials, with direct calls to action, emotional copy, and 30-60 minute time slots and scheduled through off-peak time on TV.

    But they work for those who sell the products advertised.

    Transferring that format to the 30-60 second slots would be better for all involved, but I am not sure the ‘agencies’ are ready or able to make that mind-shift as quickly as profit/sales focussed entrpreneurs may be able to.

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  6. Ken Norkin - Freelance Copywriter said:

    I think you’re right, Bob.

    If you’re a mass market advertiser who needs to reach tens of millions of customers with a certain level of frequency in a matter of days, major network TV is still the only way to do that. Internet — and cable for that matter — just don’t have the numbers.

    Sure, a few times a year there’ll be some online campaign that goes viral and delivers tremendous numbers to the advertiser. But those successes are not typical. There’s simply no guarantee going in that you’ve created the next YouTube hit.

    If your campaign absolutely depends on achieving a specified reach and frequency within a specified time, I think network TV is your only choice.

  7. Bob Bly said:

    You could point to Susan Boyle, whose audition on “Britain’s Got Talent” got more than 11 million downloads on YouTube in about 72 hours, as an example of the power of social media. But the video was taken from a network TV show in the UK. Would she have gotten 11 million hits if she had videotaped it at home and posted it online herself?

  8. Morgan said:

    “Would she have gotten 11 million hits if she had videotaped it at home and posted it online herself?”


    Excellent point! It appears TV and the Internet are most effective when they work hand in hand.

  9. Ken Norkin - Freelance Copywriter said:


    Even more to the point of the now 100 million views of the Susan Boyle video is the question: what did this do for the producers or sponsors of Britain’s Got Talent who created and paid for that content in the first place?

    Can anyone outside the UK name one sponsor of that show? How many can even correctly name the show?

    I’m sure that Susan Boyle will eventually cash in somehow — and deservedly so. One or two big-selling records could leave her set for life.

    But where’s the ROI for the companies whose money made all this possible? I don’t think there’s any.


  10. Ken Norkin - Freelance Copywriter said:

    And my point is also that the Susan Boyle video is entertainment or a human interest story and not a commercial or any kind of marketing, which is what your original post was about.

    Is there something for marketers to learn from this video’s rapid worldwide spread? Probably.

    Does this video prove anything about viral online marketing? Hardly.

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