Customer-obsessed marketing

Is Your TV Advertising Plan Like Tuna Noodle Casserole?

Jim Nail
Principal Analyst
January 27, 2015

Even when I was a kid, tuna noodle casserole was a bit outdated, a relic of the 1950s, when recipes on the side of a soup can were considered cuisine. But if your TV plan is heavily reliant on linear TV, it's a lot like that casserole: not appealing to younger viewers whose tastes are more diverse.

I certainly read a lot about how Millennials are leading the growth of streamed TV viewing, and I've seen the occasional stat to back it up. It certainly makes sense. But I decided to dig into Forrester's Consumer Technographics® data to flesh out the picture in this report which was just published: Making Sense of New Video Consumption Behavior.

No surprise; the numbers support the generally accepted wisdom of Millennials being the ones most eagerly adopting new ways to view favorite shows: 34% of Millennials (i.e., 18-to-34-year-olds) report watching 4 hours or more of TV online weekly versus only 12% of Gen Xers (ages 35 to 48) and Younger Boomers (ages 49 to 58). Not that Millennials have totally abandoned linear: 55% still watch 4+ hours weekly compared with 73% of the older segments. But clearly, their video diet is more diverse.

The report also confirms that clips and short form content are more popular on mobile devices than full-lengths shows. 

So now we've confirmed what people have suspected all along . . .

Then came a couple of news stories that caught my eye: NBC won the November ratings sweeps with an average live/same-day adult 18 to 49 rating of 2.3. Meanwhile,  Bethany Mota, the 19-year old YouTube personality chosen by President Obama to interview him, drew my attention with her 8 million+ followers and videos that regularly get over 3 million views. By the way, a 2.3 rating is about 2.9 million people. 

Of course, views vs. ratings are not directly comparable, but it did give me pause when the top TV network's average audience is roughly the views of a YouTube star.

Clearly, the days of running a linear-TV-only campaign are fast waning — an 18-to-49 buy is likely to overdeliver against the 35-to-49 segment and underdeliver the younger group. But opportunities abound to extend reach to these younger viewers by using new video ingredients in the recipe for your media plan. 

I'll be going over the data and these conclusions in more detail in a webinar on March 10. Come find out what types of videos are the main dish, the side dish, and dessert for different generations.

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