Single TV ads don’t work alone

Ian McCawley’s piece “Are TV ads a waste of dot-com money?” (MW August 31) reminded me of a funny comment made by one of my co-panellists at the Jupiter Communications Online Travel Conference in Miami, the chief executive of a US online travel site (which shall remain unnamed to protect him from a swarm of new business approaches).

This chief executive boasted of their recent, first-time appearance as an NFL Super Bowl advertiser. (For those of you on this side of the pond, Super Bowl ads are priced at more than $1m (£625,000) or each 30-second announcement).

The chief executive called this ad an “experiment” to help them gauge the effectiveness of their advertising and the TV medium overall. Perhaps some dot-com advertisers, like this US online travel player, simply don’t understand how to use TV effectively.

Rather than dismissing the TV medium entirely, especially and solely for dot-coms, online players often lack the experience or sophisticated marketing approach to properly plan, execute and evaluate offline campaigns, including TV.

Whether you’re a dot-com or not, a single announcement, even in a high-audience delivery vehicle like the Super Bowl, will never “work” as a stand-alone nor an activity that takes a significant proportion of your overall marketing© activity plan (as in this US example) unless it’s part of an integrated communications programme.

Glenn Trouse

Chief marketing officer

London EC4

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here