TVC : The Dinosaur awaiting its Comet

“Outrageous! Blasphemous! Preposterous! Are you out of your *insert-censored-word-here* mind?!”

TVCs have been the ultimate holy grail of media planner’s budget. Ever since Stanly Resnor created the ad for Bulova watches, it blew our minds, of people and advertising professionals alike. A medium that can provide sight and sound, and you can use actual influencers to tell your tale? Whoa! What’s not to love?! Sadly, people have always been caught up in a mindset, “Aur dikhaao, aur dikhaao.”  Hear me out, numbers, like hips, do not lie.

Tvc-Vs-DigitalThe emergence of internet as a medium has sidetracked television as a primary avenue of home and personal entertainment. People now no more wait for their favorite shows on PBS or CBS or ABC, a much more preferred medium is Netflix, or Hulu And why shouldn’t they? These on-demand services free the viewers from the autonomy of the linear television. Live Television ratings have fallen 11% in adults aged 35 to 54 and in children by an alarming 22%. The reason why the TV ratings are falling down is because there are lesser and lesser TV sets being bought. By pure mobius strip of logic this is further because of rise of internet and mobile and internet as primary holders of eyeballs. The money but naturally has followed.

Martin Sorell, the big bad wolf of Advertising also has avowed 45% of ad revenue from digital. Taking away from television advertising, the ad spend on digital is likely to increase by 26% globally.

Things however, are looking pretty smooth in an Indian context, from advertising spend of 14% for Television, is likely to increase to 16%, while digital, which was a somber 30% moves to 37% within a span of two years, according to Gyan Gupta, CEO, (IMCL) Dainik Bhaskar group.

What makes marketers shy away more from TVCs is the exorbitant cost of production and the high entry barrier and let us not even get into the cost of fixing a spot (nothing to do with you, IPL). Marketers are realizing the power of hyper local advertising and are using the electronic widgets such as Amagi, the specifications and profiling are definitely going to get deeper. However, with digital, specific targeting is a much easier job. You can make sure that a Teenager with braces living in the suburbs of Mumbai sees your ad while surfing on Facebook while returning from tuitions in the evening.

A curious phenomenon has been recently observed is combining the powers of crowd sourcing and empowering people to be a part of their brand communications. Last year coke announced that it’d shift its business model to be more open and has been working with the consumers to fortify their brand communication. Last year itself, the company asked 50 million fans on Facebook to suggest an invention or an app that could spread happiness, in alignment with its ideology of opening happiness. Archrival, Pepsi on the other hand has gone one step further and asked viewers to create the TVC for them, taking brand engagement one step further. The major avenue for sharing this would be YouTube and Facebook and later to a TVC.

These are interesting times wherein the audience of the traditional medium is being lured to the digital medium for a bigger digital future that is yet to come. The routing of this major audience chunk is akin to the downloading of Google Chrome through Internet Explorer. With 200 million internet users in a population of 1.2 billion and the increasing number of screenagers everyday, the TVC has yet to see its doom. Till the rest of the million is routed to the worldwide web, TVCs will see the light of the day.

We aren’t pronouncing it dead yet, but TVC with its massive budgets, with its bland inability to cut across demographics and a one-sided communicative approach in these exciting times where leave alone people, brands, are talking to each other, is in a perilous position. It doesn’t happen today, it doesn’t happen tomorrow or the next year, but, the end is nigh and it is sooner than we all think.

Guest Author: Dhruval Mehta,  Founder:- Social Udaan, Social Marketer-Advertising World-Observant-Traveler-Foodie– Sapiosexual- Secular Humanist-In Love With Himalaya. Connect with him on 

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