Written by: Carly Fink
I grew up in the 1980s, and cable TV was seen as a premium service. We had an antenna with only seven TV channels. There was no internet, social media, or smartphones. Ads were mostly aired or shown on television, radio, print, or out of home (e.g. billboards). If you had a fun jingle or a catchy slogan your ad would be seen and hopefully remembered. Everyone was using predominantly the same media channels. As a result, someone my age often remembers the commercials they grew up with… From Mikey from Life Cereal to the Anti-Drug Campaign - “This is Your Brain on Drugs”.
However, the advertising landscape today is much more diverse. On average, a person sees over 10,000 ads a day. A cable subscriber has access to an average of 200 TV channels. To complicate the media landscape, millennials are cutting the cable cord and watching streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu on their TVs and computers instead.
People do not sit and exclusively watch TV or videos anymore. They are often using their phone, tablets, and computers while watching programming which allows them to easily tune out commercials.
It’s not only streaming services that have complicated advertising. I love observing people and seeing how walking around in public has evolved. Now, you often see people taking smaller steps so that they can walk and access their phone at the same time. Or how many times have you waited on a long line at a retailer and not taken out your phone? This results in a major loss of eyes on out-of-home advertising, store's window advertising and point-of-purchase advertising.
This makes it extremely challenging for a brand to stand out from the crowd. As a result, advertising research becomes more important than ever. Research provides so many opportunities for your brand to become more relevant, memorable, unique, and important to your consumer base. It is a smart way to get ahead of your competitors. From conducting secondary research to understanding trends to segmentation research to advertising tracking, there are multiple ways to be stand out and smarter about your advertising.