“TV simply doesn’t work, old man.” Yeah, whatever…

Nick Cross, Director


I was spurred to put fingers to keyboard by a Mark Ritson article in yesterday’s Marketing Week bulletin, which puts a nicely sarcastic spin on the “TV is dead” view held by many marketers.

The piece satisfies me for many different reasons, but it connected on two very specific subjects that I feel strongly about.

The first was initially a professional gripe, but now it’s getting personal. A few weeks ago, I became a member of the 55+ demographic and therefore, apparently, completely fell off the marketing radar. I’m quite the consumer – brand-aware, consciously acquisitive and with increasing disposable income.

I buy lots of things, and I do it all the time. But I am somehow irrelevant to a whole tranche of marketing society which thinks that my 20-year-old son is at the nucleus of all routine, discretionary and impulse product purchase and associated wealth generation.

He really isn’t.

Though he has the potential to be in, say, 30 years or so.



The second relates to a client who contacted me with a sales query, coincidentally at about the same time as my 55th. They work in the younger audience space and had experienced a substantial sales “anomaly” that they wanted to check.

It was a significant boost to a single product’s rate of sale across their entire retail estate during a six-week period, and they wanted to see if there was a media-based correlation between the sales bounce and any marketing support that might have contributed.

But they only actually spent a rather modest amount on linear TV around Easter holidays, so there couldn’t possibly be…could there?

Actually, we were active on TV across the first four weeks of the six-week bounce. The product responded to linear TV support, and the effect was immediate. After two weeks of activity the rate of sale had increased by more than 350% at their number one retail account, and 250% at number two versus the week before TV.

Sales built solidly, continuously during the TV advertised period and were still running at more than 3 times the pre-TV weekly average six weeks after TV finished.

Quite how this was achieved is a mystery as, according to many commentators and experts in the marketing community, TV is no longer an effective way to communicate with Children or Young Adults, who “just don’t watch TV anymore”.

As Mark Ritson points out, it may not be AS effective, but results show that it still really IS effective and will remain so as long as it continues to dominate viewing graphs, whilst generating huge volumes of viewing time and attention for young audiences. Sales prove it.

That’s that sorted, then.

Now, if only we could find a target audience that is a rampant buyer of goods and services, has loads of disposable cash and is a massive consumer of media communication. There must be an app for that…