The olden days used to mean the Victorian era, a horse and cart and probably a penny farthing. But that’s now considered pre-historic and the olden days are just a flash away to the 60s when the television sets of the nation ruled entire families. When huddling around the sitting room to watch the only bit of entertainment was still considered exciting and companies were in their heyday of advertising. With just one thirty second advert sales could skyrocket by 100%, and that didn’t have to even be a prime-time slot or during the Superbowl. Everyone was there, because there was nowhere else to go.
But now there is somewhere else to go, in fact, there’s a million other places consumers can get their brand kicks from, and the television watched their once loyal viewers skip over to Netflix, Amazon Prime and other online streaming services. Busier days and longer nights means people don’t have the same time they once did, and we’ve now got the ability to pause our television sets and so comes absolute control over what we watch. We no longer have to grin and bear the adverts anymore, or get up and make a cuppa every time the break rolls around. More importantly, we no longer watch adverts that push a hard sell, after all, we don’t have to.
While that’s great for us consumers down on the ground, businesses and brands have a trickier time of capturing attention spans and so it’s time to consider what that means for advertising and sales.
To a generation that is upwardly mobile with disposable incomes, i.e. the honey pot of marketing and advertising, television needs to be integrated with other channels to continue a long life. It’s not dead, and it’s not going anywhere soon, but there is an evolution that needs to happen. Especially for brands who have previously relied solely on 30 second TV ads.
It’s one of the reasons an Omni-channel experience is so important for businesses today, as well as social/online presence, and not to mention a robust content strategy that can tell a story. Which is exactly what it all comes down to. Telling an emotional and poignant story that viewers can connect with. The age of the hard sell is over and we want to have all our heart strings pulled on as we watch something that resembles a short film, only to find out at the very end that a product or service was involved. Which is why so many agencies are employing scriptwriters and movie makers as part of their creative teams. Stories are shared. Passed on. Last a lifetime. We tell our lives in stories, remember in stories and connect with other stories. Your typical laundry powder advertisement has probably never been shared and barley lasts its allotted time on screen let alone a lifetime, and it’s not a story anyone will remember.
The television sets of the nation might have hailed from another time, and their heyday might be over, but that doesn’t mean they’re not relevant and don’t have a place. They’re still there. Huge chunks of the country still gather around it every night as a form of social interaction. It remains the one thing that still knits a household together, whether it’s a family with teenagers and grandparents, or a student house filled with personalities. The kitchen table and the television are the center of gravity in homes, and brands can still capitalise on that. They can still tell their story, they just have to raise their game and tell a different kind of story.