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TV Advertising Still Rules in 2011

By John Shelton December 31, 2010 | 12:35pm

(This was originally published in iMedia Connection on December 30th)

TV has historically been the favored medium for advertisers.  But as we know well from the last several years, as profits wane, so does advertising.  This has been especially true in terms of the struggling automakers.  Historically the top TV advertiser, automakers, failed to make an impact in recent years, and were “out bought” by consumer electronics companies and other related firms.  Overall, this has lead to a decline in TV ad revenue and a blow to the networks, both traditional broadcast and cable.

In 2011, the story changes.  We’re projecting that next year TV advertising will increase in revenue by about 8 percent. This is due, in large part, to automakers making big gains.  Case in point, General Motors announced recently that it would be reentering the “game” with an upcoming aggressive advertising and marketing campaign in response to its new public offering made last month. GM is now slated to more actively advertise during the Super Bowl and other popular sporting events in 2011.  Audi will also be looking to Sunday sporting events to reach affluent consumers, planning to make a Super Bowl play of its own.  Overall, US car sales were up by 17% in November, supporting the theory that 2011 will be dominated again by automakers.

Autos aside, TV is still the most important medium for advertisers.  This last quarter is already a good projector for 2011, with data from our ad buying systems showing revenue at 4% higher than this time last year (not including the revenue from recent mid term election ad buys).   Early Ad buy figures are suggesting that TV will continue to be the largest slice of bigger and more diverse corporate advertising plans in 2011.

Cross-platform and online:

We recently surveyed leading advertising agencies across the country on how certain trends, like the growth of digital, has affected their business. Most agree that cross-platform digital advertising will continue to offer new opportunities in 2011, with budgets making room for campaigns to be synced between TV and online. TV has the opportunity to be out front, with digital, mobile and other platforms supporting TV advertising campaigns.

Yes, digital continues to make gains, but TV is making more money and presenting opportunities for digital to be part of an integrated campaign.  We are seeing a merging of platforms, and TV will hold the lead in conjunction with the use of digital sub channels and internet platforms to extend programming and local outreach.

A Better Year for the Industry:

To be clear, 2011 will start off fairly flat for the advertising and media industry.  There is always a lull at the beginning of the year, with the exception of the Super Bowl in February. And yes, the economy is still struggling. But, there will also be an opportunity to implement new strategies and allocate advertising dollars, providing the advertising industry with a level of hope that most haven’t felt since prior to the recession.

Plus, as the economy continues to grow, so too will the industries that were most impacted by the downturn. Automotive will have a big year, and even has the potential of outspending 2010’s level of political advertising. The pent up demand coupled with automotive beginning to show profit, creates the perfect storm to see an explosion of automotive advertising in 2011.

Bottom line, TV still is a viable, healthy medium.

click here for the original article in iMedia Connection

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