Understanding Media’s Past and Where it is Going

30 Jan

Media markets continue evolving everyday. It is important for us to know the roots of media and advertising, and even more-so, where  it is/could be going. Advertising drives media success, Advertising and media has changes drastically as technology evolves, and this is something that we have observed for about the last 50 or 60 years.

Let’s start by looking at what a typical TV model looked like in the 1950’s. Initially, TV companies would pair with brands and make money from them sponsoring entire television shows. For example, if Folgers sponsored a talk show, it may be called something like “Folgers Talk Hour,” and the show might have cups, signs, etc. that promoted the sponsor during that time. It was not long before television companies realized they could solicit many time slots and get multiple sponsors– meaning more money. This brought about the concept of the 30 second commercial, which we still see a lot of today. This was also when we started seeing agencies that produced ads and collected 15% of the profits. As we move forward into about the 1980’s, technology evolved quickly, and new advertising agencies came into play. These new agencies did what the old ones did, but took it a step further with accountability checks, math, and statistics, rather than art. This change made the ads more efficient  and new agencies charged about half the cost (only taking about 8% of commission.)

These advertising opportunities worked well for a while, but again, as technology evolved, so did media and advertising. In this new wave, we have to consider new factors, some that were not even around 20 years before. For example, people are spending hours on the internet, mobile phones, and tablets, making it less effective to advertise in newspapers, magazines, or even television. Agencies and companies want to target where people are most likely to see it. This is where we start to see measured and unmeasured media and spending.

Measured media has very often relied greatly on advertising being black and white. Some examples of measured media are commercials on television and how many times they run, or ads in newspapers. Also, due to government ownership and regulations, these statistics were easily documented and companies were able to “measure” this type of media. Unmeasured media is the “gray area” that has become very popular. Ads that appear on the sidebar of Facebook, or at the beginning of youtube videos, or even the sponsored results that we see on google are all forms of unmeasured media. Google sponsored results, for example, put specific ads at the top of the page, depending on the search. However, it’s impossible to know how many people are going to search for a certain thing, making it difficult to measure this type of media.

The last thing I am going to touch on is the success of multi-platform brands. The example that we went over was Rachel Ray. Rachel Ray has a magazine, websites, facebook, twitter, multiple TV shows, products, etc. The list goes on and on. Due to exposure on many fronts Rachel Ray is a household name and a lot of her success can be attributed to this extreme exposure. It is important to know what people are seeing when we are promoting brands and products. Staying a step ahead of the trends is what makes a successful brand.


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