Media models change

18 October 2011

NEW YORK: Advertisers and media owners including Procter & Gamble, Google and Warner Bros are attempting to shift their strategies to reflect consumers' changing attitudes towards content.

Marketers at Procter & Gamble, the FMCG group, believe TV retains a leading role, but also anticipate that extra "screens" – from PCs to mobiles and tablets – will offer increased opportunities in the future.

"We still spend the majority of our money on TV, and that's a supply-demand marketplace," Julie Eddleman, its marketing director, told AdAge. "[Digital promises] a better experience for the consumer and no wasted impressions for us."

Unilever, an FMCG rival to P&G, similarly suggests television has a crucial position, especially in fast-growth markets. However, as sites like Facebook develop, the firm is increasingly combining an international reach and tailored messaging.

"TV does still play a key role, and we will still invest a big portion of our money there," said Luis Di Como, Unilever's SVP for global media. "TV is still at the heart of all our plans, [but] we need to manage the short and the long term at the same time.

"The new era is coming with the highest level of personalisation," he added. "Mobile and portable devices will be the killer platform that will continue growing."

Google, the online giant, is expected to build channels on YouTube resembling broadcast networks and housing licensed, professionally-produced material, although it is yet to reveal this publicly.

"We are the small guy and we have to behave like the small guy," said Robert Kyncl, Google's VP, film and entertainment. "We have massive upside because the industry is changing and it is moving from a closed to an open system.

"I look at content coming from great storytellers; to me it's not about which platform or the size of the company providing it to you. What we are trying to do is make [sure YouTube is] more attractive to creators of all types."

Warner Bros, the movie studio, has made active use of social media, securing almost 17m Facebook fans for its film the Hangover and 35m for the two-part Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Sue Kroll, the firm's president, worldwide marketing, said: "While trailers and TV commercials and publicity are hugely important, social media constitutes an increasingly important forum for movie fans to share information and for us to target our efforts."

Lisa Hsia, VP, new media at Bravo, the broadcaster, pointed to the existence of "empty-box syndrome", with viewers wanting an arena to discuss the shows they are watching in real time, but not finding the ideal location for these discussions.

"People want to talk about what's happening now," she said. "Every TV network has to be looking at ways to harness that."

Data sourced from AdAge; additional content by Warc staff