So which is it – the SHOW or the SCREEN?

June 8th, 2016

I’m wondering if it’s a good thing to comprehend great differences in the creation and delivery of advertising content over the past – yikes – 35 years.

Of course, it’s a necessary thing to understand this, but…well…35 years.  Dare I admit that?

Regardless, the article Advertising,  A Love-Hate Relationship in our recent issue of Thinking presents the advertising likes and dislikes by generation in a straight-forward way.  So straight-forward and so clearly that it was impossible to deny that it wasn’t really all THAT long ago when advertising was so much easier.

Just scratching the surface, here’s a high-level view of “then” and “now”:

Then:  Creative strategy took into account core markets based on demographics such as household size, household income, age of the likely purchaser, the number and age of children in the household,  and if we were really getting sophisticated – psychographics!   Media purchase decisions wrapped around which shows and what day part, which magazines, and what billboard location.  We wrestled with how to overcome ad-skipping as consumers taped shows (yes, taped) on VCR’s.

Now:  Demographics still are a factor, but lifestyle preferences and personal  interests, now so trackable and measurable, play a larger role than ever.  As for delivery, “what media” is not the only question.  “Which screen?” also gets – or needs – consideration, as does “What type of content?”  And the wrestling now takes on ad blocking.

In related articles:

AdAge described the differences in how different generations tend to use different screens  (smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC) “based on purpose” in the article, Marketers: How to Bridge the Generational Screen Gap.

Further, a March 2016 Business Insider article, Millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers agree that advertisers are not reaching them relates how significant percentages of each generation feels overlooked by marketers.

And, it’s not all about the channels the various generations prefer for consuming advertising.  The Adweek article, How Different Generations Consume Content Online includes an infographic depicting how much time different generations spend consuming online content, what time of day they tend to do so, what type of content each generation tends to prefer, and more.

Advertising strategy has never been this fun!  Or complex!  The technology evolution is sure to drive both the fun and complexity further.  If you don’t currently receive our quarterly newsletter, Thinking, please sign up.  It will give you regular insights on the rapidly changing marketing and advertising world.