What’s Old in Media is (Very) New Again

By Ted Kohnen

Since marketers love to proclaim things as “dead,” I want to talk about rebirth. A rebirth of channels recently considered “old school” or “traditional.” And, in that rebirth, an opportunity for marketers to more effectively and efficiently drive brand and demand. I’m talking about the resurgence of TV, outdoor (OOH) and radio.

Does this sound like a media mix from the Mad Men days? It shouldn’t. In their newest iterations, TV, outdoor and radio should factor in right along with search, social media, digital display, mobile and other channels considered “core” by today’s standards.

While all of these areas are very different, the latest incarnations of these channels all have some pretty significant benefits in common: costs have gone down, reach has gone up, tracking is possible, production simplified, lead times for creative have decreased, and more granular targeting is possible.

Television advertising reborn

With TV, I’m referring to the rise and dominance of OTT/Streaming TV. We’re talking about platforms such as Hulu, Roku, Peacock (and, probably soon, Netflix). Hulu (with Kantar and Nielsen) conducted a study quantitatively showing the impact on metrics important to marketers. Compared to other digital advertising formats, running streaming TV advertising, on average, leads to a:

  • +17% in unaided awareness
  • +39% in brand preference
  • +23% in brand favorability
  • +12% in purchase intent

Beyond geographic and demographic criteria, the targeting ability has become much more granular with platforms being able to target first-party data, behavior signals and firmographic data. And then there’s the speed factor – once a :30 spot is produced, we can have it on air, nationally, within 24 hours, with tracking in place across all the stations/shows most relevant to your audiences.

Radio advertising reborn

With radio, I’m talking about streaming radio (both music and podcasts) – specifically Spotify and the Spotify Network, which includes The Ringer, Gimlet, Parcast, Megaphone, Anchor and others. The Spotify advertising platform puts tremendous control in the hands of marketers. In addition to audio ads, Spotify offers marketers the opportunity to run video ads and standard digital banners on both desktop and mobile. Park & Battery has seen clickthrough rates (CTR) on video and standard digital ads yield 8x regular banner advertising on websites.

Similar to OTT, the targeting ability is at a point like none other in radio’s history, resulting in ads being more relevant to the listener and therefore more likely to drive action. And, importantly, the targeting features enable marketers to be more efficient with their budget.

Outdoor (OOH) advertising reborn

Do you remember how long in advance you used to plan outdoor advertising? Or the very high minimum commitments that had to be made? While outdoor, in all its traditional glory, still exists, digital outdoor is now many the go-to for many effective marketers. Largely driven by the major outdoor companies like Clear Channel placing new or reformatting old billboards and signage to be digital, marketers can deploy campaigns in near-real time and have billboards run on the schedule (flighting) they want – not a schedule prescribed by the outdoor company.

Want to run an ad on a single billboard for a fraction of the day for just one day? No problem! Want to change out creative midway through a campaign, quickly? Sure thing! Want to dominate dozens or hundreds of billboards for a specific time? You got it! Digital outdoor has provided flexibility like never before.

And, if you thought the digital inventory wasn’t there, consider the number of screens in these cities:

  • New York: 9,000 screens
  • Chicago: 1,000 screens
  • San Francisco: 700 screens
  • Atlanta: 400 screens
  • Austin: 300 screens

Final thoughts

A quote sometimes attributed to author Stephen King truly resonates with me: “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” However, the secret sauce is not just how to maximize opportunities in one channel (old, reborn, new or otherwise) but how these channels work together to create the optimal media mix to reach and engage new and current audiences. It’s the choreography of channels where marketers truly win (and what Park & Battery is particularly good at).

Ted Kohnen Chief Executive Officer

Named one of the ten most influential CEOs in 2021, and the recipient of multiple Agency-of the-Year recognitions, Ted is the CEO of global digital agency, Park & Battery. Over his career, Ted has been focused on helping hyper-growth start-ups and multi-national enterprises alike to activate their brands – telling their stories in meaningful and compelling ways to their most important audiences in order accelerate awareness, interest and action.

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