Hershey, the confectionery manufacturer, is taking a consumer-driven approach as it strikes a balance between television and digital video in its media planning.

Charlie Chappell, head/integrated media and communications planning at Hershey, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Media Conference.

And he reported that naysayers in the marketing industry have long predicted that television will become an irrelevance to their craft.

“We all get bombarded with messages of, ‘TV’s awful!’ ‘It’s dying!’ ‘You need to move away from it!’” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Why Hershey Co. is “agnostic” about digital – and legacy – media choices.)

Equally vocal are the medium’s enthusiasts, Chappell added, who generally argue that “‘TV’s great.’ ‘Don’t walk away from it.’”

Stepping back from this industry debate, he posed a question to his colleagues that encouraged them to look at the issue from the customer perspective.

“You know who doesn’t care?” the Hershey media chief asked. “The consumer.” And the reason that the end user doesn’t have that same sort of passion is because television is no longer what it used to be.

“We try to not talk so much about TV at Hershey anymore,” Chappell explained. “It’s now really about engaging long-form video with sound.”

Drilling down into this topic, Chappell suggested that audiovisual content has taken on new dimensions that do not fit the traditional definitions associated with television.

“‘Long-form’ could mean two hours. It could mean five minutes. You even can throw YouTube into that, because it’s a place where people are watching video, [and] we know it works for us,” he said.

Reflecting this knowledge, Hershey does not base its media plans around increasingly artificial distinctions between audiovisual channels.

“When we talk about planning it, we don't get into these big long debates of ‘TV’ or ‘not TV’, because the consumer doesn’t care about that,” Chappell said.

Sourced from WARC