Two things happened when I read this week’s report that Gavin Darby, chief executive of Premier Foods, had followed up his good financial results with the statement that his company would be “unashamedly sticking with TV advertising”.
Firstly, I gave a little inner cheer for Premier Foods and their supreme good sense at investing in TV advertising. But then I couldn’t help sighing over the word ‘unashamedly’ and the fact he felt the need to use it.
Why should he feel even a tad guilty at using TV when it has never been cheaper in real terms or as effective or as technologically dynamic. Why does he need to apologise to anyone? He should be celebrated for being clever and sensible and immune to fashion.
Sadly we work in an industry that gets worryingly close to ignoring sensible because it is a bit boring. Tried and trusted is not earth-shattering enough. It doesn’t impress your friends and it wins fewer awards, partly because most award schemes these days seem to delight in adding special categories just for mobile, social etc in a way that they would never dream of doing for, say, in-store marketing or customer publishing.
Internet ‘fundamentalists’ are still deriding marketers for using TV. It’s about time we turned the tables on them and deride them for their tunnel vision. Intermediaries are panicking creative agencies, excluding them from pitch lists if they don’t put ‘digital’ at the heart of their offering, whatever that means. Andrew Melsom even went so far as to recommend that advertisers specifically rule out TV in their briefing. My advice: explain that TV is the biggest ‘digital’ medium in the UK.
And there are even some advertisers who love to make agencies feel guilty for recommending TV. And if those agencies are not sure of their facts they can get cowed into recommending a less effective lead medium. Maybe the advertisers deserve that outcome. But this is where we can help. We have the facts, we have the evidence. We delight in being pushed to prove how effective TV advertising is, on its own or integrated with other media.
The short-list for the Thinkbox TV Planning Awards has just been announced; 21 inspiring papers proving why marketers should be confident and proud of using TV to drive their business – and there are another 77 TV-tastic entries that didn’t quite make the short-list but are full of great ideas and evidence.
So come on, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about using TV. Get the facts under your belt so you can push back when some idiot says that TV is dead. Let’s all be shameless in declaring our love for TV.