For over 50 years TV has been dominated by big corporate advertising, leaving their SME competitors (who don’t have big budgets) behind in the advertising game.
With the rise of social media however, an advertising revolution is already well under way, giving SMEs an opportunity to finally level the playing field.
So what’s in store for above the line marketing with trends turning more and more towards advert-less television viewing?
Consumer driven demand
“Apple TV is a prime example of the future of TV viewing,” says Wayne Levine, MD of NXT/ Digital Innovation. “Based on live streaming TV, Apple TV offers you pay-per-view TV, with all movies and series episodes available at the click of a button – with no adverts.”
In South Africa, Dstv’s PVR offering already allows viewers to pause and fast forward through adverts. Apple TV takes this idea to the next level.
The future is near
So, what does the future hold? “At this point we can’t say for absolute certain what the future of TV viewing will be, but corporates who have traditionally advertised on television will need to start thinking about alternative ways to reach the mass markets,” advises Levine. “If you don’t start adjusting to how consumers respond to adverts, and how platforms are changing, you will be left behind.”
For innovative SMEs however, there’s a great window of opportunity. The big corporates will still have their big budgets, but plucky SMEs that offer great content that consumers want to share will others will be able to get the same coverage – for free. That’s the beauty of youtube and videos going viral.
One example of a company that has already started moving its campaigns into the digital space is Nandos. Known for producing high budget adverts that quickly get pulled from screens, the local grilled chicken chain has used the phenomenon of videos going viral to great effect. After all, an advert that’s been pulled from mainstream television is even more appealing to Internet users.
According to Levine, NXT is already working with its clients to develop new advertising strategies that meet the way consumers interact with the media and brands, and as TV continues to evolve, we’ll begin seeing how brands are dealing with the trends. One wonders, will we be going back to an era of direct, door-to-door pamphlets? Or perhaps the mobile space will become the new platform of mass marketing?
Whichever way things go, the last few years have shown that it will be consumer demand, and not corporate power, that will tip the scales.