We are firm believers in the future of adverts on TV. Here is why.


TV adverts have been a mainstay of the advertising industry since day one of commercial TV. And, despite dire warnings that TV is going to be killed off by digital (any day now…), it is still central to the business of advertising and media planning.


Across formats and devices, we recognise the ability of TV to reach, entertain and engage with an audience in numbers and ways that most other formats can only dream of. It remains the case that only TV is able to hit that audio-visual-audience sweet spot that still gets us ad agencies all hot and bothered. It is still the best way to deliver a story and an audience.


But change is afoot. Streaming devices, DVRs, on demand, mobile and online series are just some of the changes that represent the process of profound disruption that will force dramatic change on the advertising industry. Although we still watch TV in huge numbers, we no longer watch it in the same way that we used to.


The audience has atomised and gained a huge amount of power in the process. We choose to watch what we want, how we want and when we want.


Advertisers and the brands they represent need to be aware of these tectonic shifts, or risk not being in a position to take advantage of the inherent potential. Here are a few areas we see as being key to the future of TV advertising.


Consumer choice is a good thing, and not just for consumers.


Consumer choice means we can watch House of Cards whenever we like, don’t all have to watch The Two Ronnies at Christmas and also ensures there is far more data available about the audience of any given show, allowing for brands to target the audience and not the ratings, the genre or the format.


The quality of the data is also improved as the outlets for TV have diversified and become smarter. A TV format that requires a login, or that can remember viewing choices will only help the advertiser.


Better quality data and a wider format spread will lead to an increasingly…


Programmatic marketplace


With the right data, advertisers can automatically target very specific groups of people. Although programmatic is in its infancy (for TV at least), it is likely to increase as networks span devices and viewing options. Leading the way in the UK at the moment is Channel 4 and their on demand 4oD service. By 2016, Channel 4 plans to sell more than half of all its ads on 4oD via audience focused, demographic and interest-based targeting.


Part of a package


Digital isn’t replacing TV but rather supplementing it. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that a considered media mix is often the best option, or that non-TV digital formats actually help amplify TV advertising and could reduce overall costs to a brand as a result.


Eventually, digital ad spend will outstrip TV. But we would argue that by that point, what we knew as the traditional TV format will have been replaced by the far more supple, reactive and digitally integrated TV 2.0 – which will remain a massively important format for brands and, in large (although disparate) numbers, audiences alike.