The Rumours of Television’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exagerated

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At least for Canadians aged 14 to 34.

According to Youthography‘s most recent (June 2008) issue of "Forward" (their teaser for their meaty quarterly report "Ping"), 76.5% of Canadians aged 14 to 34 would use television if they were trying to advertise a message to people their own age (the percent pertains to those who rated television as either a "4" or a "5" on a 5-point scale of effectiveness).

From this issue of "Forward" …

For comparison’s sake, television ranks, and has always ranked, at number one against radio, popular websites and portals, in-store activations and another dozen or so common media channels in this particular question battery since the inception of our company back when the earth was cooling in the year 2000.

For years we have continued to hear pundits and professionals alike sound the clarion call signaling the imminent death of television and nothing could, still, be further from the truth. In the face of immense new pressures from the likes of web-based media platforms and the rise of visceral activations, television has consistently performed well even with the ever-digital millenials and cantankerous gen x’ers.

The much more important, and real, narrative is not the funeral of our friend the television (though flat screen monitors integrated into on-demand, online entertainment portals are starting to render the quintessential image of the boob tube as meaningless) but, instead, the incessant rise of previously niche or “nice to have” media as standard and essential elements of any large scale marketing and communication effort; this is most stridently true for campaigns aimed at younger generations.

Virals, glowing co-sponsorships, blogs, podcasts, cross-promotional opportunities as well as any and all manner of activations (from down in the legion hall indie cred-givers to mainstream music plays in-store) are ALL now essential considerations for the savvy media planner and marketing director alike. But, if you want to make people aware of something new or drive them to a website, event or store and you don’t have television in the mix you are still throwing out the baby with the proverbial bath water. (emphasis mine)

So, what do you think about that?  How do you find out about "new" things from companies?  I’m a little (ahem) older than the sample … but I would say that I find out about the newest, coolest stuff from friends or by reading blogs that specialise in the newest, coolest stuff.

You folks who are in the target age – or who have kids who are – what do you think the most effective channel is?

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One thought on “The Rumours of Television’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exagerated

  1. Andy Strote

    Speaking as the parent of a 21 year old, I would say it’s friends, Web sites and the retail environment in that order. I think in all of these media stories, we sometimes overlook the shopping environment as a form of media. That means window displays, in-store merchandising, in-mall promotions etc. Given that generically “shopping” is the most popular past time, it needs to be considered.

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