Television Ads Are Not Just for TV Anymore

E*Trade?s Baby Creates the Most Online Buzz (New York Times)

The key promotional method used by many consumer products companies, especially those targeting the mass market, is the television advertisement.  Even though television viewing has declined over the last 10 to 20 years, the amount spent on TV ads remains large, with one estimate suggesting that 2011 spending will exceed $60 billion.

While television advertising continues to be a critical part of promotion strategy, many marketers have also figured out that TV ads are not just for television.  They understand the expense in producing a television commercial can be spread over many other media, including viewing ads on computer screens and mobile devices.  In fact, for some products the real value of TV advertising comes with the viewing that takes place outside of the consumers? living room.

The reason why television commercials are growing in importance away from home television rests with two key developments:  1) cheap digital storage, and 2) social media.  Cheap digital storage is the reason YouTube has become so influential and allows anyone to freely upload, store and make videos accessible.  Social media has helped propel the use of digital storage by offering easy ways for people to learn about and share videos.

In this story, we see the companies that are the most effective in generating interest for ads beyond the television screen.  What is quite interesting is that 8 of the top 10 ads were first displayed during the NFL 2011 Super Bowl.  With results like this, we can expect the 2012 Super Bowl television ads to be highly creative and have a long life after the game is over.

For the fourth consecutive year, Zeta Interactive, an interactive marketing agency, has released a report of which ad campaigns generated the most buzz online. Zeta uses a technology that monitors what consumers are saying about online ads that they see on blogs and on video sharing and social media sites.

Given the size of smartphones, is it likely we will soon be seeing television ads tailored more for small screens than for large digital television screens?