Atomic Direct, LTD

Tech Needs TV

Once More, TV Ratings Soar

Posted by Doug Garnett January - 25 - 2011 - Tuesday

Now that we’re thoroughly depressed by Bob Garfield’s most recent apocalyptic editorial mope, there’s an item of interest reported this morning. (Click here.)

Seems that ratings for the playoff games were at all time high’s – even getting a massively dominant 85% share in one market (Milwaukee).

I like to look at the data and see truth – not just what people have pre-disposed me to see. So, let’s ignore Bob Garfield. What do these playoff ratings mean? TV is very important and very compelling to the mass market. And, this may offer more confirmation that what consumers want is for future media is very different from what the media prognosticators want to give them. Seems that everyday folk rather like…well…um…TV.

But isn’t the internet king? Not really. Studies find that in consumer lives the internet seems to be replacing that 2nd fiddle role that radio used to play. An important role. A critical complement to TV. But without the emotionally compelling power of TV.

Consider the arrogance of the digerati. Watched the new Onion Sportsdome show on Comedy Central. For me, it was a bust. And watching, I was reminded of the fact that it’s much, much, much harder to make compelling 1/2 hour to hour long programming than to make off-color & offensive 3 minute webisodes. Besides, with programming you have to come close to hitting a home run every episode. But with webisodes, you can strike out two out of three times and if the third one is funny enough, you’ll get your web visits.

I think we’re fed a lot of internet hype by people who’ve never (a) felt the power of TV; (b) felt the power of TV advertising to move markets; or (c) had to create programming that satisfied a mass TV viewership.

So despite Garfield, I think TV continues well – though facing some major challenges of its own creation. Now we’ll have to see if the advertising and VC hype merchants will ever let us get what serves us best – or if they’ll destroy it in their lust for money and power.

Copyright 2011 – Doug Garnett


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Doug Garnett, DRTV and Technology Industry Expert

Doug Garnett is founder and CEO of DRTV agency Atomic Direct and a leading expert on innovative uses of DRTV, infomercials and other in-depth TV and non-TV messages to build brand and drive sales.

Doug has been working in and around the technology field for 27 years. After starting in aerospace, he spent 5 years selling and marketing supercomputers. Since shifting to advertising, his clients have included AT&T, IBM, Apple, Disney Mobile, Ugobe, Presto, and Netpliance.

Doug sits on the editorial board of Response Magazine, is an adjunct professor of general advertising at Portland State University, and is a member of the Jordan-Whitney Greensheet Panel.

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