Staff Reporters
Aug 1, 2011

MEDIA DEBATE: Channel choice causes clients confusion

As more television viewers choose different broadcast platforms, have clients responded accordingly or is it difficult for them to free themselves from the traditional TVC mindset?

L-R: Jon Wilkins, Joon Lee and Barney Loehnis
L-R: Jon Wilkins, Joon Lee and Barney Loehnis

Jon Wilkins
Founding partner, Naked Communications

I haven’t really seen any new thinking being hard-wired into the way people are developing film [in Asia]. The old rules — like measuring GRPs — are definitely still around.

Globally, people are changing their thinking. The US is ahead of the game in this respect, but there have not been many great examples coming out of Asia-Pacific yet.

Interestingly, in Japan, the best work often starts online and then maybe goes to television, but the old-style TV advertising is still very much there because of the system that supports it.

Ultimately, if you’re going to create ads that work across all platforms, you have to work from a central point and then work out how people are going to engage with it; how to get people involved across different platforms. 

Part of it is down to the maturity of those platforms, but people are not re-engineering their thinking. Even in [developed] markets like Australia, there are some great examples of campaign integration, but there is nothing open-source about television and film.

Thinking about how something is going to be passed around requires a step change; there has to be something built into it that makes people want to engage.

There’s still a lot of old-school thinking — pre-testing, testing — all that has to disappear before marketers can embrace the new world. It’s a real opportunity and there’s no excuse for not grabbing it with both hands.

Joon Lee
SVP content and communications, Fox International Channels

Clients are finding it difficult to adapt in some cases, but only if they are dealing with channels that are not adapting to new technologies and relying on old business models. But marketers have every right to be struggling, since there are so many more options and opportunities out there for exposing their brands and products.

It is not fair to say that all are struggling; some channels are struggling, and it’s a challenging time for marketers. In Asia, TV media is predicted to continue growing, but if we don’t evolve, this may not continue. Smart broadcasters are adapting to new technologies that allow viewers to see pay-TV content on other platforms.

At the end of the day, content will continue to determine whether audiences keep watching or whether they switch off. Exclusive pay-TV content is appealing to both consumers and advertisers — whether this content is on TV or on another medium.

Barney Loehnis
Head of digital, APAC, Ogilvy & Mather

It varies by market. We’re still not seeing enough experimentation, but we’re starting to see more examples. Consumers are exploring TV in a real-time way, but there is less sense that marketers are leveraging the potential of the multi-platform experience.

Particularly in Asia, the rewards for getting it right are not always in line with the amount of effort needed to be the leader in the space. The payoff is quite hard to justify.

Brands that cannot afford big TV ads are actually in a better position, because to attain share of voice they have to integrate across platforms. They are forced to be far more innovative in order to engage with consumers. Major advertisers such as Coca-Cola and Unilever are becoming better at building up a simultaneous multi-channel experience, but it is part of a long-term strategy and will take time.

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