TV advertising is as important as it ever has been. At the same time, there are plenty of other delivery platforms for television opening up that people have to embrace. The problem in those platforms is the same thing that happened when the internet first came along – tracking is poor, audience data is generic and media owners have struggled to line up cross-platform deals.
I can have a very fruitful conversation with Google or Facebook, but I find it harder to have a conversation with a broadcaster and its different platforms – not just measuring, but buying, strategy and putting together ideas. The trouble with a lot of the cross-platform deals that I have seen is that they are made up of TV and then presence on the website. Frankly, I do not think that is a very sophisticated cross-platform deal.
We do a lot of work in sponsorship [of the McLaren Formula 1 team], and we have learned a way of using our sponsorship assets to work in broadcast television, social media and internal platforms. The trick is to start with the content and work from there. Match the content with the audiences, the right mechanisms of delivery and then you will get some resonance.
I still think there is an 80:20 rule to apply, and it will apply for quite a long time, which is that there are things that work now that will continue to work for the foreseeable future. I need to focus the majority of my team’s effort and budget on reaching the majority of average UK consumers, because we have 25 million of them.
We are probably a brand that will stick with the tried-and-tested methods for longer than most, and we will have the opportunity to test the smaller ones. But they are not going to overtake a 60-second slot on ITV1 in the middle of The X Factor for a long time.
Improvement in measurement will help more advertisers move towards that place. That is definite. In the meantime, people will keep doing what they do because it works.