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


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