The Death of TV Advertising
2 min read

The Death of TV Advertising

Everyone thought TiVo, with its ad-skipping technology, would lead to the death of TV advertising — but it’s actually the shift of audience and media value to digital media that is draining the value from broadcast media. Take Coldwell Banker’s new ad campaign in which TV plays an ancillary role, supporting the real action which is all online (from Online Media Daily, read by lot’s of people in Old Media but few in New Media):

COLDWELL BANKER LAUNCHED ITS NEW ad campaign Sunday night on prime-time television, but rather than simply plug its brand, the 15-second spots are expressly designed to drive consumers online. Indeed, the ads, created by Publicis Groupe’s Kaplan Thaler, focus mainly on laptops streaming video featured on the company’s Web site.

“The Web site is the real focus,” said Charlie Young, senior vice president of marketing for Coldwell Banker. Young cited National Association of Realtors research, which found that three out of every four home buyers now conduct preliminary research for purchasing a new home online.

The campaign also includes a significant online ad buy, said Young. Display advertising will appear through the year across major portals like MSN and Yahoo, as well as more targeting buys such as and Kinesis Marketing, Coldwell’s online agency of record, is handling everything–including a major search marketing campaign across all major search engines.

Young added that the company plans to increase its online spend by 30 percent this year.

Specifically, the campaign is pushing a number of services for buyers and sellers–all of which can be found online–like a side-by-side home comparison feature, the “Home Value Estimator,” a sales associate locator, and the four essential questions consumers should ask real estate associates.

I suspect that Coldwell Banker will eventually come to the conclusion that TV advertising isn’t really necessary — if they want to get the word out to a mass audience, MSN and Yahoo are as good or even better (and you can measure the results!!). I’d go so far as to say that Coldwell is only advertising on TV because they’re being conservative and not following through on their digital instincts.

Once advertisers realize that their customers are ALL online and that audiences are abandoning non-digital media, they will stop spending money on non-digital media — ad dollars are like water, always flowing to where the audience is. At some point, advertising on TV and in magazines and newspapers won’t be perceived as safe but rather as foolish. Once we reach that tipping point, we’ll start to see major non-digital brands and titles closing up shop and going all digital, e.g. major print publications will cease to publish in print.

(The Web 2.0 companies that survive the shakeout will have a shot at this coming influx of ad dollars — unless Google takes them all.)