American TV Ads Are Less Effective Than Two Years Ago

21 February 2008

NEW YORK: A majority of US marketers believe that television advertising has become less effective over the past two years, spurring interest in exploring new ad and video commercial formats.

That's the conclusion of the fourth biennial TV & Technology survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research

Among the study's main findings ...

  • Sixty-two percent of marketers believe TV advertising has become less effective in the past two years, but close to half of the advertisers surveyed have already started to experiment with new ad types to work with DVRs and VOD programs.

  • Eighty-seven percent of advertisers believe branded entertainment will play a stronger role in TV advertising in the coming year.
  • Advertisers are eager to try new ad formats, including ads in online TV shows (65 percent), ads embedded in VOD (55 percent), interactive television ads (43 percent), and ads within the set top box menu (32 percent).
  • Over 50 percent of marketers reported that when half of all TV households use DVRs, they will cut spending on TV advertising by 12 percent.
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they intend to spend more on Web advertising this year.
  • Seventy-two percent of marketers are very interested in having individual commercial ratings rather than average commercial ratings.
"As marketers embrace the richness of new advertising avenues outside of the traditional TV format, the TV industry is working to address marketer's issues related to ratings and the changing TV landscape,”"said ANA president/ceo Bob Liodice

"Marketers, in collaboration with the TV industry, will continue to find the most effective and innovative ways to reach their customers through the TV medium, utilizing the emerging technologies available to them."

Additional insights from the study ...

  • Two-thirds of respondents indicate that C-level executives are watching the changes in TV advertising more closely, up from 54 percent two years ago.
  • Media agencies have vastly improved their ability to help their clients deal with the changes.  Only 28 percent of respondents reported that their media agency is ill-equipped to address the changes in TV advertising, compared to 47 percent two years ago.
  • Creative agencies did not fare as well, with 47 percent of marketers indicating that their creative agency was still ill-equipped to help deal with changes, a slight improvement from 55 percent of marketers two years ago.
The study was conducted in January 2008 and is based on a survey of 78 leading advertisers, across all major industries and categories.

Its goal was to measure the attitudes of national advertisers' toward TV and the impact of technology on the television landscape. 

The full survey findings will be revealed at the ANA's TV & Everything Video Forum on February 28.

Data sourced from Association of National Advertisers (USA); additional content by WARC staff