Research released in January this year by the BBC revealed that a quarter of TV viewers are now watching programmes via catch-up services such as 4OD and Sky Go. This is causing a seismic shift in the way that people engage with television advertising and represents a large audience skipping ads altogether. While on the face of it, it only looks like a problem for the TV advertising industry, but it could also have fairly potent implications on the viewing experience of us, the consumer.
TV advertising funds the programmes we watch. Without this revenue, many of our favourite TV programmes would never have been made. As consumers, we know that we must be advertised to, but it's important that advertisers work with the available technology to give us a seamless viewing experience whilst promoting the interests of the brands they represent. Boosting advertising revenue can and should work hand in hand with an enhanced viewing experience.
The marriage between consumers and advertisers is one that has experienced ups and downs, but the technology that's now available allows advertisers to form a much stronger connection between brands and consumers. Advertising doesn't have to be, and indeed shouldn't be, intrusive. Technology now provides an elegant, non-intrusive, consumer friendly ad viewing experience that can actually help put brands back in the one place where people are still engaged - back in the spotlight of content. Not around the content; in it, right there with the laughter and tears, the one place brands can't be ignored.
But technology alone can't make the experience seamless for the audience. Only humans can give the ads context necessary for content and brands to peacefully co-exist and be engaging. This hybrid of technology scale and human contextualization is now the cutting edge of advertising. Instead of brands searching for their own relevance by creating their own narratives (whether short-form 30-second spots or long-form branded/native content), the right context can allow brands to participate in someone else's story - a drama or game show that already has a primetime audience.
To continue funding high quality content requires the willingness of brands to pay for advertisements, which they will only do if they have confidence in their ads being seen. The solution for any forward-thinking TV advertising company is to embrace all that technology has to offer by carefully integrating brands within the context of the television where it can't be ignored.