The End of Advertising as We Know It



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Who will air the very last free to air television commercial? Will it be you, a brand who thinks they are getting a great deal or the unfortunate client of a traditional advertising agency?

With the greatest respect to traditional media, the world is changing. No matter where I go, and whom I talk to, they are just not watching television advertising anymore. I am sure someone, somewhere reading this, will look for some data to prove otherwise. However let me share some data with you first, that is imperative to understanding modern advertising.

Flurry (owned by Yahoo) found that time spent on the mobile in the U.S. is now at 2 hours 57 minutes. Compared with TV at 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Even more concerning for broadcasters is a report from Nielson that indicate the 18-24 age demographic in the US now only watches 18 hours of traditional TV. A year-over-year decline in 3 hours and 45 minutes per week. The 18-24 age demographic falling by 32%. With TV now reaching just 76% of 18-34 -year-olds.


Remember when only the young used Facebook? Now 1.44 Billion are now using Facebook. Or when you were curious about what this Instagram thing is? Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in the world. Or you found yourself asking why are my kids using Snapchat? 41% of teens are now Snapchat users.

It is how momentum starts, it is how the radio started, television, print and all forms of advertising started. Someone went there first, someone followed, it built momentum and then we were all there. Then the advertising followed the people, and the 1st movers got the advantage. Makes sense right?

If you want to sell in today’s market, you just need to market where the market is, and where you can get their attention. It is not complex, and it is not something any marketer needs to spend a lot of time analyzing.

Where is my audience, where are they more likely to listen to me? let’s market there!

If there is one thing we can all agree on is that change is a constant in our world. That is all that is occurring here; this is not a piece arguing against traditional media or advertising. I certainly have consumed media this way for a long time myself.

It is an article expressing that this change is happening now and at a far greater rate than any analysis can report. If you want to win in marketing or advertising in 2015, you need to “skate to where the people are.”

One day we will look back on the television advertising with a sense of nostalgia, saying do you remember when? Although probably best that your ad, or your clients is not at the centre of this conversation.

Right now the change in user behaviour may not be obvious to you, or your clients. A lot of us may want to believe what worked previously still works. After all beliefs are hard to change.

But maybe, just maybe it is time for the advertising to follow the people.

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