From the editor: TV's bright future

Colin Grimshaw

Oh for the halcyon days of TV. When families gathered around the one and only set, the centrepiece of the living room. Favourite programmes watched in hushed silence, sometimes in the dark to narrow the attention onto the silver screen, replicating the cinema experience. Then, the only concern for advertisers was the loss of viewers leaving the room in the ad break to make a cup of tea, or empty their bladders. Otherwise, they could content themselves with the conviction that their carefully crafted brand messages were being captivatingly absorbed.

Then along came Robert Heath and Paul Feldwick with their '50 years of using the wrong model of TV advertising' paper (IJMR, 2008). It questioned the information-processing nature of TV ads and, effectively, tore up the façade of the attentive, absorbing viewer and the established AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) model of advertising, demonstrating that TV advertising was best absorbed in a low attention processing state of mind. The learning for advertisers was that ads that connected emotionally with the viewer were more likely to hit a nerve than those that were information rich.