What happens when brands go dark?

With marketing budgets always under pressure, advertisers may be tempted to eliminate TV advertising. We have observed that brands can indeed "go dark" for six months or so with little deleterious effect. However, longer periods off-air are likely to weaken brand health, and once decline sets in, it may be hard to reverse. Supporting a brand in other media may provide some protection in the absence of TV, but overall, the best way to ensure long-term brand health is to maintain levels of spend.

Coming off air: The consequences

When a company's short-term profitability is suffering, the marketing budget is usually the first to be cut. But what are the consequences?

Analysis of our tracking database shows that brand health may become vulnerable when a brand stops advertising on TV. However, when the time off-air is six months or less, the effects are minimal. In 40 percent of these cases, brand health measures are not affected. However, bigger brands are more likely to suffer a decline than smaller brands.