When the first ever advert hit our TV screens in September 1955, it was a momentous occasion that changed the relationship between advertisers and consumers forever. Since then, more and more factors have begun to distract us from watching TV adverts. According to research by IPG Media Lab, 94 per cent of TV viewers use some type of companion/distraction media to accompany their viewing.
Furthermore, in an IPG Media Lab and YuMe report claiming that online video ads achieve significantly higher viewer attention and recall than TV, it’s stated that 63 per cent of TV ad impressions and 45 per cent of online video ad impressions are ignored. With this type of advert avoidance now rife, advertisers are making the move to other platforms to try to capture our attention.
It is predicted that mobile advertising will continue to grow 50 per cent per annum until 2016. However, mobile is both friend and foe when it comes to advertising. From an ad avoidance perspective, more people are watching TV with their smartphones in their hands, ready to check out Facebook or Twitter the moment the adverts roll. However, advertisers also recognise that this ‘dual screen’ viewing of TV gives them multiple platforms on which to advertise, potentially increasing the likelihood of capturing the audience’s attention. So is moving more spend to mobile enough to capture our interest?
The answer is no, it’s not enough. There is still a great gulf between what consumers want and what advertisers want. Ad avoidance is something the TV advertising industry has struggled with for quite some time. The development of digital TV has meant that the majority of us, 86 per cent according to recent research, who watch time-shifted programmes fast-forward through ads.
And now mobile and digital ads are being actively avoided and boycotted as well, as software and apps such as ad blockers become increasingly popular. AdBlock, one of the top ad blockers, claims to have 80 million total downloads and 20 million regular users per week globally! The consumer attitude has changed: we now know and understand the value of our time.
So what is the solution? A war is currently being waged between both parties, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Advertisers and consumers are mutually dependant on each other. Without advertising the internet wouldn’t have content, and without the audience advertisers can’t push messaging. The solution lies in resetting the contract between advertisers and their audiences, so that it’s mutually beneficial to both parties.
Ultimately, consumers need to be rewarded for their valuable time and attention, and incentivised to engage with the ads. Advertisers then benefit from guaranteed viewability and ROI on ad spend, along with feedback on the content, so that more engaging and relevant ads can be developed for the viewing pleasure of the consumers.
Martin Pugh is CEO of viewer choice advertising service Adpoints.