Advertising's Future

Ten years from now the historians of marketing will look back at last week as the time that Interactive Advertising came of age. CBS Sports put all of the games of March Madness on the Web for free with targeted ads. The Web spots were more valuable than the TV spots.

The network made $4.83 in advertising for each of its 4.8 million online viewers and $4.12 for each of its 132 million television viewers, according to data from CBS and TNS, a research firm.

I went out on a limb three years ago saying this was going to happen, but it feels good to know that I wasn’t just dreaming.

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0 Responses to Advertising's Future

  1. Dan says:

    This is probably the wave of the future, but it’s a future that has been slow in coming. The technology has existed for a while to marry computing and television, but it hasn’t taken off yet. The market for this kind of advertising remains the people who will sit at their desk to watch a ballgame, and although those numbers are bigger than I would have expected, they’re dwarfed by the numbers who sit in front of TVs.

    Until the 46″ giant screen TV in the family room is web-enabled in a way that people actually want to use, I don’t see how webcasts will rival broadcasts.

    How are the ads targeted? The article didn’t go into any depth on that, unless I missed it. The only thing I saw was that the network can more reliably count how many times an ad was seen.

  2. Dan says:

    “In 2006, CBS began showing most of the games free online, though it required viewers to register.”

    (I.e., I missed it.)

  3. zestypete says:

    It’s not just about TV/PC/ad interactivity – online advertising in and of itself has been growing for years, slowly creeping ahead of commercial TV advertising (in the UK at least).

    Here’s a bit from a piece I edited recently: “Google’s UK advertising revenues surpassed those of Channel 4 [one of the UK’s largest commercial TV channels] at the end of 2006, totalling £871m for the year. Google UK has since gone one better, surpassing ITV1 [Britain’s top commercial channel] in the third quarter of 2007, generating £327m between July and September, versus an estimated £317m for ITV1.”

    It’s no surprise given that statistics are showing more people spending more time online than in front of the TV – if not doing both at the same time – and increasing numbers are using their PC as their main viewing platform (we watch downloaded stuff on our Mac about 10 times more than we watch commercial broadcast TV at this point). And with online stations like Hulu and TVShack opening the doors, plus the rise of high speed internet connections, it’s all pointing toward a computer-based, multi-media, high end and often user generated entertainment spectacular.

  4. “Until the 46″ giant screen TV in the family room is web-enabled in a way that people actually want to use, I don’t see how webcasts will rival broadcasts.”

    Easy. When people can’t afford those TVs or cable anymore, they’ll turn to their $19 a month broadband connection. Plus they can watch videos while they look for a job on craigslist.

  5. Eric says:

    I look forward to targeted advertising. No more Depends commercials for me!

  6. Kassandra Z says:

    From what I can remember, the leader in online advertising for my generation was Disney.

    I used to love the Disney Channel and I would always go online to play the free games they provided on their website. This was more than ten years ago, around 1996 (they actually launched their site in 1995; see bottom of post for link).

    I see this as the innovators behind online advertising, because they created a cycle for kids to stay hooked on Disney. You’d watch their channel, and when there was something you didn’t want to watch, you could go online and play a game related to one of your favorite Disney movies or TV shows.

    Now, I totally agree that advertising is changing, and companies like CBS are making history. No one in our generation wants to pay for entertainment, because we can get it for free elsewhere on the internet. It’s smart for companies to get in there and offer the free content, such as the games provided by CBS Sports. They are tools that engage the audience – and we as an audience need to be engaged in order to be affected.

    For more details on Disney’s online site and its success:

  7. Soleil Z says:

    I read the Washington Post article provided on the link above, and it mentioned that most companies are still reluctant to invest in online advertising.

    I find it surprising that companies are still waiting to see the future of online advertising given not only the fact that most people are spending more time online, but also given the success of online advertising on sites such as ABC (and now CBS).

    This reminded me of our guest speaker’s point on Wednesday about politicians also being unwilling to spend more money on online advertising (only 2%!) even though Yahoo’s research shows that just as many people are getting information on candidates online versus television.

    Hopefully companies and politicians will realize soon that the future is online.

  8. BobbyG says:

    This is a test.

    I’ve tried to post comments several times to no avail. Is it just a browser thing( my iMac default is Safari; I’m now up in FireFox) or am I just not welcome here?

  9. Alex Wright says:

    I find it surprising that, statistically speaking, most companies are still unwilling to advertise online, including politicians. Obviously, based on the results above, people are receiving more information online now than any other time in history. Companies need to change methods of advertising, they need to reform their methods, if they are planning on keeping up. The old methods don’t work anymore…it’s time for something new.

  10. Dan says:

    They’re going to have a hell of a time targeting me, unless it’s ads for banjos, mandolins, drawing pads, pencil sharpeners, gardening tools, and the kind of nerdy books that make most people recoil like they just touched a snail. Maybe they can make flashing, jumping ads that say, “Punch the monkey and WIN that third volume in a series on Germany in the 1930’s you’ve been wanting but are too cheap to pay full price for!”

  11. rhb says:

    Kassandra Z, said “From what I can remember, the leader in online advertising for my generation was Disney. ”

    Trent at the Simple Dollar has been doing a tremendous book review on this topic at the following link:

    It seems to me that we really have a responsibility here to figure out what is going on in terms of our receptivity to the market. The book he is reviewing Born to Buy cites numerous examples of the dangers we face as unquestioning consumers in a free market place. It feels like an old arguement to me but the Hidden Persuaders and Mad Men are still around.

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