Panelists confident that TV advertising does have a future


A session in Las Vegas jointly assembled by NAB and the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) looked at where television advertising is heading. What’s clear is that it’s not just about selling spots anymore.

“Whatever the future is, it is about extending our brands,” said Fisher Communications President and CEO Colleen Brown.

She detailed how Fisher has launched hyper-local websites, posting information which normally would not have made the local TV newscast, along with other neighborhood-specific material. Previously, she said, the newsroom actually used only about 20% of the information which flowed in, but it is now possible to code and distribute that content and post it on the websites of particular neighborhoods where it might be of interest.

Fisher currently has about 150 of those hyper-local neighborhood sites operating. Also, it has brought in 1,500 new advertisers. And while those small, neighborhood businesses pay $25-300 per month to be on one of the sites, the dollars ad up. Also, Brown noted, Fisher has begun up-selling some of those advertisers, particularly to its Seattle radio stations.

Oh yes, every one of those hyper-local sites has the TV station brand (call letters) included in its name. It is truly a brand extension.

The panelists were upbeat on the potential of Mobile DTV. “I think we’re at a tipping point right now,” said Gannett Broadcasting President Dave Lougee. “The demand is already there,” he noted – and now broadcasters have the technology to take their product to consumers in a mobile environment.

From the advertising side, there is excitement about the multi-platform world and the myriad opportunities to deliver their message. “We just want to be where the consumers are,” said Lee Doyle, CEO of North America, Mediaedge: cia. He noted that a plan for measurement is essential to getting clients onboard for multi-platform campaigns.

“The name of the game today in the car business is the purchase funnel,” explained Steve Sturm, Group Vice President, Toyota Motor Sales. Media is being carefully placed to interest consumers in a particular model and move them each step of the way to an actual purchase. Because ad buys are being placed with immediate goals, Sturm said the Upfront is a big question this year for the carmakers. All of the auto companies want to keep marketing cash in reserve to be allocated on a short-term basis.