The English are said to have a richer appreciation of irony than most other races except perhaps the French – but then that nation’s spécialité du préférénce is cynicism!
Let’s not squabble about national partialities. However you look at it, there’s there’s a splendid incongruity about the fact that glitzy, modish online brands last year spend a cool £180m [€206.6m; $279m] to promote their offerings on dowdy, old-fashioned British TV.
Difficult to know who’ll milk this succulent anomaly with the most glee: Britain’s TV marketing body Thinkbox – or the local chapter of the IAB. The former will claim the data is evidence of the efficacy of its medium; the latter will hype it as proof of the growing supremacy of the online platform.
According to data churned out by Nielsen Media Research on Thinkbox’s behalf, online brands’ TV spend increased from £10m in 2004 to £180m in 2009.
The trade body, accustomed as it is to being caught on the back foot vis-a-vis revenue trends, claims the growth in spend by cyber-traders is evidence that TV can help generate online traffic – basing this assumption on Nielsen’s finding that 94% of people claimed to have gone online as a direct result of something they saw on TV.
MoonWink is unaware of the spin applied by the IAB to this latest TV spend data but the body will almost certainly select whatever convenient figures are supplied by its bean-counting valet Pricewaterhousecoopers.
Meantime, the research suggests that the effectiveness of TV in driving online traffic has been boosted by simultaneous web-browsing and TV viewing, claiming that some 54% of online consumers go online at the same time as watching TV.
C’mon guys, pull the other leg! The TV may still be switched-on (probably in another room) but don’t push credulity over the brink!
Still, the main point is this: whichever medium might the most efficacious – the TV/web combo appears to shift product. Which is the only true name of adland’s game.
Wasn’t it in 1955 when commercial TV first hit the UK that the term ‘cross-media campaigns’ first came into being?
Nah! As any meeja studies student will tell you, it became common currency around 1785 when some pushy genius started sticking handbills on walls to coincide with the birth of The Times of London!