Media360 turned ten last week and marked the auspicious occasion with its Decade of Achievement Awards. Thinkbox was lucky enough to win Industry Body of the Decade.We have lots of people to thank for this, not least our shareholders, but we must pay tribute to the RAB, without whose inspirational brilliance we wouldn’t exist (and wouldn’t have had lots of ideas to pilfer). And, although she hates me mentioning it and keeps claiming it as an alphabetical bias, our Tess Alps won Industry Leader of the Decade.
Hence, I’m not only beyond chuffed, I’m also feeling a bit retrospective. It has made think about what has happened in the last decade. And so I thought I’d pen a blog looking at some of the best things to have happened to telly in the last ten years. And, in a moment of remarkable symmetry, I’ve come up with 10 of them. Feel free to suggest more.
In 2010, after rising steadily for years, linear TV viewing broke through the 4 hour a day mark for the first time and has stayed there since. It seems that no matter what new technology has appeared, no matter how easy it is to avoid linear TV, people just, well, like it. This has quite a lot to do with the fact that linear viewing satisfies a variety of different emotional needs. Thinkbox has been predicting for years that linear viewing will dip. We are still waiting.
This reminded people just how brilliant the best TV advertising is. But even more than that, it was the landmark moment when a TV ad ‘went viral’ and it underlined the uniquely powerful combination of TV + online.
Not just Sky+ – other digital TV recorders like V+, Freeview+ and TiVo too – but Sky+ was the first DTR and has become the most established. People had always wanted more control over their TV and Sky+ ushered in a new era which helped people love TV even more. And, counter-intuitively, getting a DTR meant you watched more ads at normal speed than before you had one. Weird and wonderful.
Like Sky+, the BBC iPlayer deserves singling out as it helped establish a new approach to watching TV. Channel 4 got there first with 4oD but the iPlayer turbo-charged VOD viewing and the UK now has the most vibrant on-demand industry in the world. So vibrant in fact that we recently launched a new section dedicated to it on our website. And we are holding an event at BAFTA on 3 July where we’ll be launching new research into it.
This has opened up a world of possibility and opportunity for TV viewers, broadcasters and advertisers. As well as the opportunity to join in with shows or share thoughts in real time, it has also removed the distance between TV advertising and researching or buying the product you’ve just seen. The high street is in the living room and people appear to love it, with multi-screening encouraging people to enjoy TV more, watch more TV, and stay in the room more during the ad breaks.
Tablets – all mobile screens really, but tablets in particular – are one of the new technologies that have liberated TV and taken it to places it never dreamed of going before. On the train, in the toilet, in the toilet on a train…TV can be everywhere now.
Its boss may say silly things sometimes but YouTube has been wonderful for TV. It is effectively TV’s PR department and audition room.
Les Binet and Peter Field
The Godfathers of advertising effectiveness, their studies with the IPA have re-shaped the industry’s understanding of how advertising works – and, in particular, the enduring and peerless effectiveness of TV advertising. If you aren’t familiar with ‘Marketing in the era of accountability’ where have you been? And their new book – ‘The long and short of it’ – is also essential reading.
Fuelled in part by the attendant buzz provided by social media, event TV has become a regular part of the TV landscape. From royal weddings to live reality show finals to major sporting events, event TV underlines the power of live broadcast TV to bring the nation together like nothing else. It is pretty good for advertisers too.
The IPA Effectiveness Awards
Technically, these have been around for three decades but let’s gloss over that. In the last decade, TV advertising has been the common denominator for the most effective campaigns – as indeed it has been in the decades before that. The valuable pool of evidence they provide – and the recognition they afford – are jewels in our industry.