Is the golden age of TV over? We're not so sure...

As relevant as the fax machine?

In the face of digital technology, it could be argued that TV is no longer the platform it once was for marketers. As viewing habits shift to streaming and adverts can be skipped at will, it is easy to understand why some marketers feel that its’ value is diminished.

To this end, this week Marketing Week has quoted global head of digital ecosystem design at Adidas, David Greenfield, comparing TV to a fax machine.

In the context of Adidas’ digital-first strategy to win back ground in the US market, Greenfield argued that it was social media marketing which has proved most valuable in driving sales, and that TV would not be a consideration for the brand when looking to continue growth.

Greenfield claimed; ‘of course TV still has a place but the fax machine still has a place too and I’m not about to create a fax machine marketing strategy.’

Is this a fair assessment?

While most will admit that TV has changed as a marketing platform, is likening it to a fax machine really a fair assessment?

The Huffington Post argues the notion that ‘traditional TV is an old medium that’s losing effectiveness, audience and its sheer pride of place in the consumer marketing mix […] couldn’t be further from the truth.’

Tackling six of the most oft-repeated criticisms of TV, from ‘TV advertising has lost its effectiveness’ to ‘millennials don’t watch TV’, the Huffington Post points to a number of statistics which show these are not in fact the case.

With research showing that ‘millennials take in an average of 2 hours and 45 minutes of live TV a day’ and AdWeek arguing that ‘TV ads are just as effective as they were five years ago’, it might be a little early to compare TV with the fax machine.

Why it isn’t a case of ‘either/or’

At this week’s Advertising Week New York, Google has announced it is extending ‘the capabilities of Brand Lift to TV campaigns to show marketers how TV ads increase Google and YouTube searches for your brand compared to YouTube campaigns.’

Reported by The Drum, the idea that TV can, and should, be used to further your digital strategy goals is an important one.

Just as you wouldn’t choose between email and social, there is little reason that the rise of video should mean the decline of TV. With Marketing Week reporting that ‘Google, Facebook and Netflix now spend more than 60% of their marketing budgets on TV advertising’, the overlap between platforms is crucial for success.

Marketing Week also argues that TV advertising is inspiring creativity across other media channels, with Out Of Home (OOH) marketing learning storytelling and engagement techniques from TV being just one example.

While the value of TV may be changing, this does not mean it should be declared irrelevant. As part of a healthy marketing mix, TV can bring huge added value to a brand and complement rather than hinder a digital-first strategy.

Is the golden age of TV over? We're not so sure...