Posts Tagged: Youtube

Not great, Brittin

But better.  Last week, at IAB Engage, Matt Brittin, Google’s vice president of business and operations in Europe, said that YouTube in the UK was ‘bigger’ than ITV (channel? broadcaster?) for 15-34s.  This is something of a rethink from what was being said by Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt back in May when he said that YouTube had ‘overtaken’ the whole of TV.

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Ode to Autumn TV Schedules

Had Keats been alive today I suspect he would have downplayed the whole “mists and mellow fruitfulness” thing and gone large on what we all know are the really important associations with Autumn:  the start of the netball season and the launch of the Autumn TV schedules. This is the time of year when the wing defence bibs are pulled on and the schedules are overflowing with the glorious bounty of a long hot summer of production.  Every week that passes brings the return of a well-loved staple or the arrival of some new delicious TV treat to graze or gorge on.  Hot foot from the Edinburgh TV Festival I thought I’d share with you a few of the things I am particularly looking forward to in what Kevin Spacey in his MacTaggart lecture referred to as the 3rd Golden Age of TV.

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TV: the elite athletes of video

I was driving past a primary school the other day and saw all the kids competing in their Olympics-themed sports day, their mums and dads looking on indulgently.  Our village is staging its own Olympics-inspired event where the locals will be encouraged to attempt some sporting trial however laughable – and even life-threatening – those are likely to be.

But in two weeks we’ll all be able to watch the greatest athletes in the world show how all that long-jumping, volley-balling, rowing, cycling or synchronised swimming should really be done.  And, having watched elite sportspeople for two weeks, many people will be fired up and start jogging or playing tennis regularly; some of the younger ones might even end up as Olympic athletes themselves in 2016 or 2020. Read more on TV: the elite athletes of video…

Milking TV’s goodness

Well, Yeo Valley nailed it, they gave it 120%, they took that ad break and they made it their own. They even, to use a couple of Kelly Rowland-isms, both “brought it” and “put it dowwwn!”

BBH’s new TV ad for Yeo Valley is an impeccable and affectionate parody of boy band videos that was hugely entertaining and extremely well branded, but it was also a masterclass on how and why great creative TV advertising works as well as it does. Read more on Milking TV’s goodness…

Real-time rules

Not long ago you couldn’t read an analysis of the future of TV viewing without someone (including us) predicting a world where we would all live by our own personalised TV diet.  The story went like this: we now have the ability to create our own TV schedules on-demand, so… er…we will.

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How creatives can fight the media corner

‘Excellence is an art won by training’ said Aristotle. He probably wasn’t thinking about the training courses that we run here at Thinkbox, but I like to think he would have approved anyway. Excellence is what we should all be after and training – either on the job or more formal courses – is vital to it.

One of my responsibilities is running Thinkbox’s (free) training courses and, with a moment to spare, I recently had a look at the attendance to see what, if anything, it told me.

We currently run two different training courses; the first is designed for new starters to the advertising and marketing sectors, whatever their role or company, and gives an introduction to the world of television, covering everything from how TV is traded to the different roles it plays and how to get the best out of a TV campaign. The second looks at TV technology and provides information and insight into developments in TV technology and how advertisers can get the best out of them.

Since we started the courses two years ago, we have had hundreds of people pass through our doors. They have come from the following parts of the industry:

Media agencies: 55% (the biggest sector, unsurprisingly)
TV companies: 20%
Advertisers: 8%
Creative agencies: 6%
Others (includes auditors, research companies, academics etc.): 11%

We’re delighted to welcome everyone who signs up, but we were a bit surprised by the stats nonetheless. We understand why advertisers represent a smaller proportion; they are mostly based outside London, advertising is only part of what they worry about and they can always get their media agencies to provide the necessary information.

However, we are a bit surprised by how few creative agency people have attended. It is puzzling and frustrating; why don’t they come? You could argue that they would gain the most out of it, as they don’t have easy access to media insights. The courses consistently get good feedback from delegates and it is free training after all in an era when free anything is pretty rare. Perhaps they don’t know about the workshops (which would be our fault) or realise it’s for them too (also our fault). Perhaps they don’t think they need to understand this stuff. I appreciate that planning and buying TV is not something they do in their daily jobs, but it’s still very important to understand it and be able to take part in strategic decisions about media with their clients and their media agencies from a position of knowledge.

Anyway, rather than admit defeat, we are creating a training module specifically designed for creative agency people – planners, account managers and even creatives themselves. It will be a half day workshop in which we will give delegates some basic TV trends, predict TV’s future and show what it adds to the marketing mix, and how it drives other media behaviour such as search and social media.

We will also share research which proves investing in great TV creativity will deliver better business results. That’s a very helpful piece of ammunition for any creative agency. We’ll also look at some of the new creative opportunities and challenges for brands in TV – content, product placement, on-demand TV – and generally give practical advice on getting the best out of today’s TV.

From our point of view, if it does nothing else, we should get fewer of those “We only had 400 TV ratings* but we got 700,000 views on YouTube” quotes that we tend to hear from creatives these days.

The new workshops will be launched early next year and we hope to run them on a regular basis. If you work for a creative agency and fancy fresh insight into TV advertising, do please email me: If there is strong demand from any individual company we can even run it in-house exclusively for you.

* 400 all individual TV ratings equates to 260 million ‘views’. 400 ratings for any other audience will probably deliver even more than that.

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The love that finally dares to speak its name

I’ve got used to reading articles from organisations which operate largely within internet marketing with a nice cup of tea by my side, so that I remain calm. But I recently read one the other day from Comscore (the major internet research company) that made me think someone from Thinkbox must have infiltrated them, bound and gagged its staff, and started writing blogs for them.

It was entitled ‘The Lure of TV Advertising for Internet Businesses’ and it examined why so many online businesses are now advertising on TV. It gave three reasons why TV is so attractive to online businesses:

1. TV viewing is growing
2. No other medium can compete with TV on instant impact and reach
3. The effectiveness of TV has not declined, probably the reverse

Remember, this is Comscore writing! I urge you to read it for yourselves. Although they are writing about the US all their points hold true for Europe.

It struck a chord, not only because it felt like we’d written it, but also because a couple of months ago we ran our own analysis of online brands advertising on TV and found they had become the fastest growing TV advertising category.

We found that investment in TV advertising dominated online brands’ advertising investment (over 70%). Investment had grown by nearly 2,000% over the last five years (172% a year) and the number of online brands on TV had increased by 700%, with two online brands in TV’s Top 10 spenders.

The main reason for this is clear and empirical: online brands have first hand, immediate experience of TV advertising’s ability to create online traffic. 94% of the UK claims to have gone online as a direct result of watching TV in the last 12 months, according to our research. And this activity is one reason for TV advertising’s market-leading growth this year; even brands with a long purchase cycle, like cars or banks, can see the interest that their TV ad has generated, even if they have to wait for the sale.

We’re seeing this in action at the moment with our new TV ad. Our ad has been on TV for less than a week and already it has been sought out on our website and YouTube over 300,000 times, Harvey has garnered nearly a 1,000 Facebook friends and our website traffic is up 400%. However, you won’t catch us confusing cause and effect. We know that’s only happened because our ad has been seen over 50,000,000 times on linear TV already.

Online brands are enjoying the immediate traffic that TV creates, but in a few years’ time they’ll be blessing their TV investment for building them brands that can withstand new entrants. I am always very happy to say that search and websites are the best thing that’s ever happened to TV advertising – I don’t find it even slightly embarrassing or compromising – and I always hoped that, one day, internet companies and specialists might return the compliment. Big thanks, Comscore, for starting the love-in.

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YouTube finally "gets" TV

There’s nothing quite as nauseating as someone revelling in an “I told
you so” moment but there’s no stopping me; you might like to retreat now.

Jubilation all round today at Thinkbox Towers thanks to YouTube’s new ad
campaign promoting the arrival of proper TV content (courtesy of its deal with
C4) which uses the line, “YouTube’s got TV”.
What they didn’t advertise was “YouTube’s got long-form video”.

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Judging from the sofa

David Reviews, the influential TV and film aggregation site, has recently started something called The Lunch Break. This is a selection of TV ads put together to watch as if in an ad break. The very good idea behind this is obviously to better replicate the experience that viewers have.

People rarely watch any advertising with devoted attention – unless they’ve specifically sought it out to view again. TV viewers watch a series of different ads from non-competing markets with varying levels of attention (all of which we now know are valuable to advertisers, thanks to neuroscience).

This is not astonishing; I’m clearly not breaking much new ground telling you this. But it occurred to me while I was on the jury for the Campaign Big Awards that when we judge ads they are dislocated from their natural habitat, and often alongside others in the same market.

Advertising is affected by many things, but one of its primary concerns is context; the TV programmes you’re rubbing shoulders with, the pages of the specific magazines or websites you’ve bought, the posters in those particular locations. And let’s not forget the emotional and physical contexts of rushing to work or relaxing in the bath and cuddling with your kids/cat on the sofa. But when judging awards normal contexts are lost and artificial ones imposed. It is impossible to recreate the actual viewer experience when lined up alongside an eclectic bunch of people you don’t know well in a hotel room focussing solely on a screen and watching 60 TV ads in a row.

Where TV is concerned, the influence of the context in which we watch is incredibly significant. For sponsorship credits I would say it is impossible to judge them fairly when detached from the editorial context in which they appear and with which they are supposed to relate.

Later this year we’re publishing new research into the influence of watching TV with other people, but initial findings show that it exerts a big influence on the impact and effectiveness of TV’s advertising.

So, taking all this into account, perhaps it would be better for creative judging if ad judges convened at one of their palatial country houses to lounge around the living room watching Peep Show or The X-Factor, eating a takeaway curry and letting the short-listed ads appear serendipitously, just as the media planning Gods intended. Let’s see what works best then.

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TV goes app

Now, here’s a lovely thing that I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while. The brilliant Barclaycard ‘Waterslide’ TV ad propelled its iPhone app spin-off to become the most popular free, branded game in the history of the iTunes App Store. This is a fine example of TV and interactive media cuddling up and making babies.

BBH’s Barclaycard’s ‘Waterslide Extreme’ iPhone app has clocked up 4 million downloads from the iTunes App Store since its launch in mid-July. It became the top free app in 57 countries.

The Barclaycard TV ad was an instant hit and sparked lots of Twitterface activity. I loved it too; given that their previous campaign had featured a heartthrob from an all-time favourite TV series, that’s quite an achievement. Dare (the creative agency behind the app) also created a YouTube channel where people made their own versions of the ad for other to vote on (the excellent tea&cheese’s take on the ad got the most votes).

Apart from actually buying the product, in the ‘olden days’ (like 1998) we could only really show our love for TV ads or programmes by talking about them, imitating them, reading articles about them or buying some related merchandise, like a board game or a mug. We can and do still do all this both on- and offline but, as the existence of the Barclaycard app highlights, we can now do so much more with our TV creative.

We can be inspired to make our own versions, chat in real time about them with people on the other side of the planet, watch extra content, send them to friends, play games based on them or simply watch again. We can even have conversations with the fictional characters that TV ads give birth to, such as the half million Facebook friends and 24,000 Twitter followers of the pre-eminent meerkat of our time.

Of course not every app is as successful as Barclaycard’s but it does demonstrate how potent the TV + online combo can be. T-Mobile’s Life’s for Sharing campaign gets it right too. Nothing gets the party started like telly and interactive media extends the fun.

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