Coming into the seventh and final week of the A&M Series, a course offering presentations from masters of the industry who are redefining our business, audiences have gained tremendous insights and access to some of the brightest minds in advertising and marketing. On October 21st, Kris Magel, Chief Investment Officer, Initiative, discussed the key trends in media today from an agency perspective.

Attendee Ken O’Connor, Director of Key Accounts at NTENT, reflected on the valuable takeaways from the evening. Read more below!

A Glimpse of Today’s Connected Living Room: Reflections of a Young Advertising Professional

Ken O’Connor, Director of Key Accounts at NTENT


“TV is dead!” cried every digital salesman of today. But is it really? Not to Kris Magel, CIO of Initiative. He spoke at Advertising Club’s A&M Series in front of a crowd of young professionals, and for him, television still holds the largest footprint within the video ecosystem and will continue to stand firm. This is not to say digital doesn’t play a vital role in engaging new audiences and allowing advertisers to effectively use data and technology to deliver effective campaigns. Today’s ecosystem has opened the door to digital video, and invited it in to help compliment the television experience.

With On-Demand, OTT applications, multi-screened living rooms, and television prices climbing, it only makes sense for one to think television is doomed. While it’s true, traditional television usage has begun to decrease amongst younger audiences between ages 18-24, below are the following takeaways that helped Kris solidify his case: new channels, data and technology help TV advertising to become even more powerful.

  • TV consumes the majority of video usage… even with the youngins! Ages 18-24 consume only 17.8% of their video online or with a smartphone. Surprisingly, ages 12-17 consume even less than that at 6.4 % (Nielsen Cross Platform Report, 1Q14). Cross screen consumption is diversifying. Between 2012-2014 laptop consumption has dropped nearly 20% while mobile has increased by 7%. Hulu reports an increase of 15% in video streams on televisions. This can be attributed to smart TV’s, gaming consoles, Roku and other streaming devices (Hulu, 2012-2014 Video Views)
  • A rise in technology has led to a connected living room. On-demand viewing (VOD, DVR, PC, Mobile Video) between 2012-2014, has increased year-over-year amongst nearly all age groups.
  • On-demand video helps reach light TV viewers. For instance “Ads on Hulu: 3X likely to reach light TV user” (Hulu, 2012-2014 Video Views).

How do we as marketers make sense of this information? For Kris, “A holistic video approach will complement TV, not replace it.” By applying the facts Kris laid out for us, one should use digital campaigns to reach their indented audience across devices. While a surge in technological advances has led to a more connected living room, it is still abundantly clear that television holds a large audience. Here are three areas to help our video campaigns: Environment, Audience, and Amplification.

  1. Environment: The environment in which a video is shown should be across all screens-TV, VOD, online, mobile, and tablet. Development of web-endemic original programming and reach the multi-cultural market. Let’s not forget the silver screen! Cinema still plays a role in a brands video campaigns. Whether it’s ABC, Hulu, YouTube, AOL, or the big screen; make sure to reach your audience in all environments.
  2. Audience: Reach your audience by leveraging data and technology. Use data wisely and stop focusing on Age/Sex/Location. Target heavy and light television viewers. The best place to reach light viewers is outside the home (Cinema, Gyms, Airports, inside Taxis) and on their mobile device. By allocating budget towards light viewers that watch only 10% of television media, you’ll be able to reach your intended audience across a variety of channels. Also, with Video on Demand, consumers are opting into the content they are watching and theoretically this should make them more inclined to sit through advertisements.
  3. Amplification: Social media has allowed marketers to amplify their content more effectively than ever before. Be sure to create content that is digestible and enjoyable on the device consumers are viewing. For instance, a video experience starkly differs in the cinema vs. the mobile device. So customize your brands content for a more enjoyable user experience. Upon doing so, spread the word with you social network.

“TV is dead!” appears to be a statement made to chip away at the grandiose television budget. In reality, a holistic video approach proves to be a more viable option. It will expand an audience for marketers and make for a more competitive landscape. For digital marketers, the use of data and technology can help deliver effective and efficient campaigns that help compliment television. In the future, expect quality content to be distributed across multiple players, channels, and platforms to create a balanced ecosystem for advertisers.

As digital sales executive, listening to the points Kris made felt encouraging to have a role in the digital landscape. While marketers still allocate a large portion of their spend towards television, it is clear that other digital channels will help amplify their TV campaigns. This should make advertisers feel more comfortable with pulling budget away from their traditional use of television, and start focusing on digital channels to help target their intended audience that may have otherwise been neglected.