Desperate times call for desperate measures

AdAge's Brian Steinberg wrote a piece today on the increased repetition of ads on the airwaves in recent weeks, both as a nuisance to consumers and as a result of the economy. With every advertisement he described, I found myself automatically saying, "yes! I can't stand that commercial!" I can still hear the classical music playing in the background of the Sprint commercial, just from the article having mentioned it. I don't even remember what Dan Hesse says in that spot anymore; once you've heard the same message over and over again so many times, eventually you begin to tune out. Unfortunately for these companies running the same advertisements so frequently, consumers everywhere are not only tuning out, but becoming downright resentful.

Advertisers point to the increasingly widespread use of DVR in addition to financial woes as justification for their need to run commercials focused on value over originality more frequently. More than 25% of TV households in the U.S. will have some form of DVR by the end of the year, enabling them to easily fast-forward past commercials on any show they've recorded (while the other almost 75% of us will just have to cope with the now dated art of channel surfing to bypass bothersome TV ads). It's true that in most cases, advertisers should aim for multiple impressions on their consumers in order to aid basic recall, but that number of impressions per viewer is becoming more difficult to control as the television audience continues to fragment. With so many new channels and show offerings, it's not as easy to separate your markets into NBC primetime versus CBS primetime. And according to Brian Steinberg's article, research conducted by the Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group found that while it used to take an average of 15-20 impressions for a TV spot to "wear-out" for a consumer a decade ago, nowadays it may only take as little as 8 viewings!

These TV troubles are all the more reason to put greater emphasis on social media marketing campaigns that not only reach consumers where they already are, but also reach them where they're going. For instance, if you were to create a campaign involving bloggers that are relevant to your cause, you'd be catching consumers who are visiting these sites to retrieve information. Assuming you've contacted the appropriate bloggers, you're now delivering information about your product that customers seek, whether directly or indirectly. Plus you're much less likely to annoy consumers with multiple content posts than you are by playing that same song or jingle 10 times in one night.