DialogMythbuster: TV is (not) dead, now what?

TV or digital has long been one of those „to be or not to be“ questions between communication professionals. While on one side there are strong proponents of classical advertising and “proven” tools such as TV commercials, on the other side there are even stronger proponents of digital media and newer advertising platforms.

Whose side to take?

A survey made by Ipsos agency in cooperation with 24sata about the media habits of Croats in 2019showed a significant domination of the Internet. The Internet was not only the main source of information for 78% of respondents, but also the medium that Croats trust the most. A year later, extraordinary circumstances have shaken not only the Croatian capital, but also the media market.

According to AGB Nielsen data, since the appearance of the first person infected with the corona virus in Croatia, TV viewership has continuously increased. On Sunday, March 22nd, 2020, at the time of the earthquake that hit Zagreb and its surroundings, television ratings reached the highest measured average daily viewing time per individual since TV ratings were measured in Croatia (January 1st, 2003). Domestic websites also noted record traffic. The trend continued during April, and according to research by Nova TV, television has become the medium we trust the most because it brings credible and verified information.

With loosening strict coronavirus measures and good situation „on the field“, consumers and advertisers have slowly began to return to old habits and during the summer months there was a slight recovery of the media market. Media investments have increased compared to the previous few months, mostly in TV and digital. Although total media investment was declining, these two categories grew largely at the expense of print media, whose budgets were reduced.

Deadly Rivalry Between TV and Digital & budget planning

Although we are increasingly consuming content on various digital platforms, one could say that we are a TV nation because according to some indicators, we spend up to 4 hours a day in front of the TV. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we for sure watch all commercials and don’t look for snacks or surf on our smartphones during the promotional block, just as we don’t always watch a sponsored video on Instagram longer than the first three seconds.

For advertisers whose ultimate goal is mass reach in short time and fast awareness growth, TV is probably still the best tool. However, when bigger financial investments are not an option, advertising on digital as well as some traditional channels with more precise targeting can also be very effective. Main characteristic of the best campaigns are tailor-made messages, well tailored by consumers and their needs, as well as their placement at the right time and in the right place, which is certainly not only on TV. Moreover, what usually brings success is communication through different touchpoints with consumers. While investment in print media has been declining for some time, the radio segment has remained stable and in the OOH segment digital formats are becoming increasingly popular. TV is evolving, while streaming services and digital video continuously note significant growth. How their future development and future consumer preferences will affect the market and within what timeframe, remains to be seen.

Given the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy, in the near future we can generally expect a decline in advertising investment. At the same time, research shows that consumers expect that advertisers and the media contribute to our further adjustment to the “new normal”. In a situation in which we are anxiously watching the impact of a new wave of coronavirus epidemics on our everyday lives, companies and brands that do not pull back in this crisis and succeed in showing they really make consumers’lives better, could “pick up the cream”.