The answers to these questions have a common origin that takes us back 80 years to 1936. Commercial consumer and social research was a new business then – AC Nielsen had been founded 13 years previously (in 1936 it was about the same age as Facebook is now) and Gallup inc. was just one year old. As it turned out, events in 1936 would soon make Gallup front-page news.
Like 2016, 1936 was a general election year in the US and there were opinion polls. One organization that considered itself expert in this field was The Literary Digest, a magazine that had been in the polling business since 1916.
The buying and selling of linear TV advertising hasn’t changed in decades – until now.
Unlike the real-time, impression-based transaction that defines digital advertising, the traditional television media buy is impacted by technological limitations and disparity in sales strategies. These impose that decisions be made well in advance on broad-based demographic targets such as age and gender. Ratings are researched and ads scheduled, but the process is labor intensive and doesn’t accurately show available inventory and its audience. The growth of programmatic TV is addressing some of these challenges, giving the parties informative and actionable data sets and varying levels of workflow automation.
Video consumption through digital means has skyrocketed, thanks in part to Google’s absorption of YouTube in 2006. Meanwhile, television has also continued its upward growth, despite industry expectations. The higher media consumption patterns offer media companies, marketers, and technology companies a huge opportunity to unite the two watching streams, but it’s not without its challenges.
In my former life in the world of digital video advertising, we looked to leverage “cross-screen digital video” as we quickly recognized that “online video” was not going to be restricted to the personal computer. This proved to be true as folks watched the latest Boston snow storm reports from a work computer, then laughed at a Louis C.K. skit via an iPhone from the caboose of the disabled MBTA and later, enjoyed Sophia the First with their kids on an iPad.
There were a number of articles floating around before and after the Super Bowl contrasting the cost of a single 30-sec spot with other ways in which that $4.5 million could be spent. I’m sure some of those alternatives would make better sense for some advertisers. But a $39 CPM ain’t bad for an instantaneous unduplicated reach of 114.4 million and the kind of engagement that leaves people talking about your ad for days, weeks, and maybe years.
Recent news about initiatives to bring automated and programmatic/data-driven access to TV advertising has brought out the typical buzz-kills, with the not-unexpected bogeyman: programmatic buying combined […]