Adults spend more than half of their media time interacting with the remote control.

This is a follow-up to last week’s class discussion, and my last post, on Mitch Joel’s hypothetical question: “What If Everything We Knew About Marketing and Advertising Until Now Was An Anomaly?”

The Television Bureau of Advertising (TAB) last week released results of a survey on adult consumer media habits that support my contention that traditional media remain far more influential for marketing communications than the internet — at least with adults, who were found to spend more than half of their media-consumption hours per day watching television.

The survey of 1246 adults aged 25 to 54 was commissioned by the TBA and conducted by Nielsen Media Research in January 2008.  Among the findings:

•    53% of total daily media hours are spent with TV, more than all other mediums combined

•    90% reported watching TV in the previous 24 hours, compared to 80% for radio, 72.1% for the internet, 58.9% for newspapers and 48.3% for magazines

•    The time spent with TV in the same 24-hour period was also significantly higher (222.7 minutes) when compared with radio (106.5), the internet (99.7), newspapers (22.1) and magazines (15.1)

•    TV advertising remains the most influential with 81.4% of the 25-54 adult segment, compared with advertising on the internet (6.5%), newspapers (5.8%), radio (3.9%) and magazines (2.3%)

•    Respondents said TV had the most persuasive advertising (69.9%), compared to 9.5% for newspapers, 7.5% for radio and 8.1% for magazines.

•    Among all media, the internet scored lowest in persuasive advertising, at 5.1%.

•    55% said they were more likely to learn about products and brands they might like to try and buy on TV, trailed by the internet at 18.7%, magazines at 14.6%, newspapers at 7.1% and radio coming in last at 4.5%.

While this survey suggests that online advertising has questionable persuasive power, Advertising Age’s annual revenue survey of U.S. agencies, also released last week, attributed an overall revenue increase of 8.6% primarily to the growth of digital advertising revenue.
Granted, the survey did not include adult usage of internet social media. But the dominance of TV over the internet in total hours of consumption, influence and persuasiveness are dramatic. Clearly, anyone who thinks traditional marketing communications will be rendered anomalous anytime soon needs to turn off the computer and get some air.


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