There’s an ad running on TV in the UK at the moment – a guy on a therapist’s couch recites lines from various famous ads –
So little Mummy and me were sat watching Christmas TV (I’m guessing it was either Poirot or Miss Marple – it usually is) and the advert came on.
Mumsy pipes up – “Who are Thinkbox?”
Sadly enough I happen to know (that’s what working in marketing does to you, turns you into a blurry know all) that they are the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK – basically they’re to TV what the IAB is to online.
So essentially they’ve created a TV ad to remind everyone how great (or perhaps effective) advertising on TV is.
Makes sense, right?
Well, maybe. Or maybe not. TV advertising is an effective medium… but it’s mass market. The idea of extolling the virtues of TV advertising in a mass market way seems a little odd. Only a itsy bitsy teeny weeny percentage (yep that’s an officially recognised mathsy statistical term) will be in control of a marketing or advertising budget.
An even itsy bisty teeny weenier percentage of those will have a marketing or advertising budget that will stretch to a TV campaign. These peeps are the ‘target market’.
And of those who are ‘target market’ – how many are going to be convinced by this campaign in any case?
Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a ‘nice’ ad (sorry if that sounds mean, I feel a little bit mean today). They’ve picked out some memorable ads.
But, is it the best way for them to reach their target market? I’m not so sure.
And, perhaps most importantly – given that they are the marketing body for TV advertising – shouldn’t their TV campaign (in an ideal world) be a glowing example of how to use this fantastically effective medium?
Lindsey Clay, Marketing Director for Thinkbox says:
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for some time and we’re delighted our shareholders have invested to make it possible. We obviously believe in the unrivalled power of TV to deliver business success and it has never been more important to make sure every brand understands what TV can do for them.”
Lindsey, I know I’m pissing on your cornflakes but your objective “to make sure every brand understands what TV can do for them” is woolly at best.
How are you going to measure that? TV reaches people, not brands.
Your objective, surely is to ensure that the right people, at the right organisations consider TV advertising as part of their marketing mix.
Will your TV campaign do that? Maybe.
But, is your TV campaign the most effective way to fulfil your objective? I’d suggest maybe not. Which coming from the very body extolling the efficacy of TV – well it jars somewhat, doesn’t it?