February 25, 2009

So Wrong For So Long

For almost 2 years now, we here at Ad Contrarian global headquarters have been ranting about the imbeciles in the press and in the marketing industry who have convinced themselves, and most of the ad industry, that television is dead.

I am very happy to gloatingly report to you today that television viewing is at its all-time highest point ever. EVER.

Regardless of all the bullshit you read, there have never been as many people watching more television for longer periods of time than there are now. NEVER.

According to Nielsen, the average American "now watches more than 151 hours of TV a month. That's about five hours a day and an all-time high, up 3.6% from the 145 or so hours Americans reportedly watched in the same period last year."

Kudos to the brilliant Susan Bandura, who wrote a guest post for this blog back in November of 2008 and totally nailed it:
...what’s really going to happen to TV viewing in the near future?

Let’s see … everybody has a TV … people are staying at home more … consumption of entertainment usually goes up when the economy is down… and now it's dark by the time we get home from work...

All of these factors say “more TV watching” as far as I’m concerned.
Susan was quoted by the LA Times yesterday in this story about the surprising (to those who have drunk the "tv is dead" Kool-Aid) strength of tv viewing.

Here are some more contrarian ideas about the "death of television" and the "death of advertising" you can expect to be reading about here soon:
  • Despite all the bullshit you read by digital maniacs, there will soon be a study that shows that tv is still the dominant medium for reaching every demographic group, including young people.
  • Despite all the "advertising is dead" nonsense, a study will soon be released showing that even with clutter, fragmentation, TiVo, digital media, etc, tv advertising is as effective as it has ever been (see Update below.)
  • Despite all the golly-gee web bullshit, you will soon read that a higher proportion of on-line searches are driven by television than by on-line display (banner) ads.
TV ain't dead. Advertising ain't dead. The only thing that's dead is the credibility of the trade press and the trendoid, self-promoting pundits who've been so wrong for so long.

Before the electrons were even dry on this post, Adweek published an article entitled "Study: TV Ads More Effective Than Ever."

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