Blog: The end of the traditional TV ad?

James Wilmore | 28 March 2012

What value is left in traditional TV advertising? Not much, if you believe the chief financial officer of one of the world's most advertised brands.

“The 30-second spot on television is no longer the way to do it. If you are like me, most of the TV you watch is recorded and then you skip over the ads.”

These are the words of Gary Fanyard, the Coca-Cola Co's CFO, speaking at last week's CAGE conference in London. Pretty strong stuff. But, Coca-Cola still sees opportunities in TV ads – it's just choosing its moments. 

“The things you don't skip are the shows you want to watch because you want to talk about them the next day at work,” he added, “or things like the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. These are the events we want to do a lot of advertising with, through tie-ins.”

Of course, like any right-thinking company these days, Coca-Cola is also using social media as part of its marketing armoury. Fanyard said one interesting aspect with things like Twitter was that consumers feel like they "own the brands", when they're talking about them online.

But, UK drinks producers, it appears, still believe in the power of the traditional TV commercial. Last week, brewer Greene King unveiled details of a new GBP4m campaign based on a new ad that will run across multiple channels next month, backed by online activity. 

And Irn-Bru producer AG Barr also still sees value in the concept. Barr chief executive Roger White told me over lunch this week: “We still believe traditional marketing works, but you have to blend that with a digital perspective.” 

So, not quite time to say 'cut' on the TV ad just yet.


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