The Emperor Has No Clothes, But If He Did We Would See Them On TV

January 23, 2013 by Karlin Linhardt, CMO, InStadium

When Nielsen issued their most recent Cross-Platform report, and showed that most TV watching is done in real time on the home set (90%), we at InStadium were not surprised:


It's the equivalent to "The Emperor Has No Clothes" story: EVERYONE in marketing knows mobile video and online channels have "changed everything." However, this conventional wisdom is stripped bare by two inconvenient facts.


The first fact, as Bob Hoffman references in his recent Ad Contrarian blog, is this: the vast majority of TV programming is still watched on…TV! The TV set is still king, and it's not even close. Hoffman notes that Nielsen continues to confirm that how much TV people watch, and what device they watch it on, hasn't really changed all that much over the years:


The second fact is this: viewing on new "channels" (mobile; online) is predominantly duplicative, not unique. Most of the people watching any particular mobile or on line programming have already been reached via traditional TV advertising.


As a result, most of the impressions generated by these channels are additional frequency, not added reach. Those heavy schedules generate tons of excessive frequency, and tiny bits of very expensive incremental reach. This dynamic is at the core of Simulmedia's recent "Book of Reach" industry study:




So, yes, in a way, the new channels (along with the hundreds of cable networks that preceded them) HAVE changed everything. What's changed? TV advertising has morphed from a reach-building machine to a reach/frequency dichotomy: building affordable, effective reach beyond 50% through TV channels (broadcast; cable; on line; mobile) is extremely difficult, expensive, inefficient, and counter-productive: to garner tiny increases in incremental reach, the additive schedules create highly excessive levels of exposure to heavy TV viewers (top two quintiles), and still don't achieve total reach:



What happened? Over the years, TV's reach (individual viewing) has been fragmented, or diluted among all the "new" channels: at first over hundreds of new cable networks, then with the onset of on line and mobile. Today, within traditional TV alone, more than 50% of viewership is comprised of networks with less than 1% of viewership each.


The result: lots of tiny, tiny audiences spread over hundreds of viewing options. A 90%+ reach is possible, if you have the budget to buy virtually all the available programming in all the various channels, and you don't care that heavy tv viewers will see the message 50 times or more. Raise your hand if you've got clients with those kinds of deep pockets and polarized planning specs.


That's why smart marketers, who desperately need the communications impact and reach that only TV advertising can provide, are looking at TV-like viewing experiences and media channels outside of the home, such as live sports in stadiums and arenas. In the current state (and continuing trend) of TV's reach fragmentation, these environments are not just interesting advertising options, but a necessary component to broadcast and cable TV media mix efforts for leading brands.


To complete their reach goals, brands need to go where the light tv viewers (the most valuable consumers) are: in the big, engaged, and receptive audiences of live sports and entertainment events. This isn't rocket science: influential, trend-setting consumers with buying power don't spend 10 hours a day watching tv, mobile, or internet. They're out and about, actually spending their money, creating the trends, and paying attention to the messages they see at their favorite events.


For brand marketing plans, TV is still the most powerful advertising/reach-building platform…if we're smart enough to find the places where light TV viewers are actually watching.


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Who’s the audience?
InStadium reaches up to 20 million receptive, active, and influential adults on a monthly basis. The InStadium audience is 40% female and 60% male and indexes at 118 for adults 21-49. Our audience has an 18% higher mean HHI than that of the general population and indexes at 138 for post-graduate education.
Source: Scarborough Research Release 1 2011
What is the network?
8+ years of building trusted relationships with professional sports and collegiate venues across the country has allowed us to create the InStadium Network.
What's the medium?
Larger-than-life, high definition video with digital surround sound, custom PA announcements, and vibrant, full-color, animated LED rings create an unforgettable brand experience in a dynamic environment.
Which brands use InStadium today?
Brands who want to increase their ROI and accelerate their business results. InStadium works with blue chip brands across many categories, including entertainment, internet technology, personal care, travel/hospitality, consumer packaged goods, retail, telecom, and more.
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