With the advertising industry in a state of perennial disruption and viewers experiencing content on more screens than ever before, it’s time that advertisers rethink the age-old 15- and 30-second spots. Traditional television businesses have taken up that banner: NBC ran live commercials during its Hairspray broadcast. Turner is running half the commercials in originals on TNT in 2017. But that’s only part of the story.
Here are the three things that marketers need to know in 2017:
1. Viewers are Receptive to Ads
Consumers have multiple options for ad avoidance: ad blocking, fast-forwarding or paying premiums for ad-free services. But the reality is that the majority of consumers are, in fact, receptive to ads.
According to research from Hulu, 93% of consumers have some level of receptivity to ads, with 35% saying they are highly receptive. And each week, the majority of new Hulu subscribers choose the ad-supported model – viewers are self-selecting into a brand-sponsored TV experience.
2. Receptivity Is Related to Content and Choice
We’ve all heard (and used) the phrase “content is king” a million times, but it is a virtually indisputable fact that there is no content on earth more engaging than premium long-form television.
On-demand, purposeful viewing has a positive impact on ads: when viewers are watching a favorite show their likelihood to view commercials increases by 21%, and by 46% for their #1 favorite.
3. We Need to Customize to Optimize
Viewers tell us that they prefer ads that are informative, relevant, and tailored to the environment in which they view them. The marriage of ad and program becomes most powerful when creative messages are customized for the platform, as Hulu discovered when we tested sequential ad messaging: creative units that tell a story over the course of the program.
Uniting commercial storytelling with content storytelling drives engagement and effectiveness, and decreases annoyance.
While the media landscape, and along with it consumer expectation, has transformed, commercially supported media is nowhere near dead. Consumers have a desire and a need to be informed about the products and services that are relevant to their lives.
In order to effectively engage consumers, we must usher in a new era of innovation and creativity, reimagining the 15-and 30-second spots in advertiser-supported television.