Clutter Makes TV Ads Less Effective

The bloom may be coming off the TV advertising rose. According to a joint Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research survey of more than 100 national advertisers, 62 percent of respondents think TV ads have become less effective in the past two years.

The main culprit cited by respondents was clutter, with 69 percent saying they would like fewer commercials per pod.

Advertisers will be cautious with TV budgets this year and hold spending flat, the study found. Marketers are also altering their media mixes, allocating 41 percent of their outlays to TV in 2009 compared to 58 percent in 2008.  

Contributing to the dissatisfaction with the medium is a lack of new audience metrics beyond reach and frequency. Eight-two percent of respondents would like individual commercial ratings. Seventy-eight percent wish to more precisely target consumers.

“As the overall marketing landscape is in the midst of a massive shift, so is the iconic medium of television,” said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. “The standard methods of delivery and measurement need to adapt to what marketers today need: more specificity, greater effectiveness and more detailed measurement. ROI is one of the most crucial aspects of marketing today, and the processes behind TV must be held to the same scrutiny.”

Solid interest remains for the 30-second spot, but there is also a high regard for branded entertainment, with 38 percent planning to spend more on such vehicles this year as an alternative to traditional commercials.

More results of the survey will be presented this week at the ANA’s TV & Everything Video Forum in New York.

The survey was conducted in December and January.