SALES OFFICE BY ABBY AUERBACH

Broadcast Television: Still No. 1 At CES

The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show was overflowing with TV technology. For the creative, forward-thinking marketer there was an abundance of innovative ways to reach television-loving consumers, and TV broadcasters were squarely in that game with mobile DTV. With mobile DTV, marketers will have the opportunity to establish the deepest connection with consumers through the reach of television, their relationship with local news and entertainment, the interactivity of the Web and the intimacy of personal devices.

It isn’t lost on app designers, Internet content developers, over-the-top providers and device manufacturers that consumers love television.  According to Nielsen, on average, Americans continue to spend more time watching television than with any other medium.

To satisfy that attraction, the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show was overflowing with TV technology — from the biggest, thinnest flat screens to the smallest mobile DTV smartphones; from the deepest, color-rich OLED pictures, to jump-off-the-screen 3D experiences; and from TVs in cars and refrigerators, to TVs you can literally talk to. Smart manufacturers with gorgeous, smart TVs were all the rage at CES.

And it isn’t lost on advertisers that television — smart, connected and mobile — is the place to reach and engage their most coveted consumers. Agency executives attended CES 2012 en masse and used the confab to introduce their clients to emerging advertising opportunities driven by screen technology. There was much buzz about Group M’s Irwin Gotlieb personally leading tours of the show floor for over 40 agency execs, and the sheer number of attendees from Digitas, JWT, MEC, Mullen, Razorfish and SapientNitro, just to name a few. 

Digiday.com enhanced its CES coverage by inviting agency execs to share their experiences and impressions from the show floor. Brandon Berger, chief digital officer, Ogilvy & Mather, made it clear that CES is now an essential stop on the annual agency conference tour. “Formerly, CES focused on the devices that were transforming the way that we engage with the world,” he said. “But now, the devices are everywhere and CES has evolved to become a place where we meet, we imagine and we get inspired. For the first time, CES is less about electronics and more about the consumer.  Technology simply enables the seamless convergence of content and marketing in consumers’ lives, making it richer, more engaging and delivering value…. After all, the future of marketing isn’t about hardware and software. It’s the realization of the breadth of ways we can creatively engage with our consumers.”

For the creative, forward-thinking marketer there was an abundance of innovative ways to reach television-loving consumers, and TV broadcasters were squarely in that game with mobile DTV. Local television broadcasters received front-page coverage for their initiatives to turn smartphones, tablets and laptops into portable TV sets that receive live, over-the-air, digital TV signals:

  • Broadcaster consortiums, Mobile Content Venture and Mobile500 Alliance announced technology and device partnerships with companies including Elgato, Expway, LG, MetroPCS and Samsung. 
  • Mobile DTV was demonstrated live with signals from Las Vegas TV stations on smartphones and iPads.
  • The Mobile 500’s dongle beta test and MCV’s Dyle consumer roll-out took shape for imminent announcement.

Because mobile DTV is live, not streamed, and viewers won’t need WiFi, 3G or wireless data plans to watch broadcast TV on-the-go, there was great interest in its consumer appeal. And new opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers with on-air, banner and interactive ads right in their hands were enticing. With mobile DTV, marketers will have the opportunity to establish the deepest connection with consumers through the reach of television, their relationship with local news and entertainment, the interactivity of the Web and the intimacy of personal devices.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Following last year’s CES, I contributed a Sales Office column to TVNewsCheck titled, “Stations Shouldn’t Give Away Mobile Ads.” The message in that column is even more relevant this year as advertisers turn their attention to multiscreen ad opportunities and MCV and Mobile 500 begin rolling out Dyle and dongles. To quote myself: “Broadcasters should seize the opportunity to bring mobile DTV to market as quickly as possible and monetize this valuable asset from Day One.”


Abby Auerbach is TVB’s EVP and chief marketing officer. All about sales and advertising, Sales Office appears once a month in TVNewsCheck through the cooperation of the TVB, which solicits the columns from its staff and members. To see all the columns in the series, click here.


Comments (5)

Leave a Reply

Christina Perez says:

January 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Dear Abby: The best way to “monetize” mobile DTV is to keep local TV broadcast mobile signals in the free and clear — the bait for consumers who then may opt to purchase pay channel mobile service. It’s also the best way to avoid the public outcry if broadcasters try to charge for free, over the air broadcast TV signals, and to grow the live OTA audience. The WORST thing broadcasters can do, in terms of the advertising and political perspectives, is to require subscriptions for simulcast local mobile TV service — the exact same programming that is freely available via standard ATSC DTV. If this industry thinks it can or should turn local broadcast TV into a pay medium, it’s going to meet with fierce resistance from both Madison Avenue, which wants the broadcast possible viewership, and from the halls of Congress, which surely will react to the public outcry to “save free TV.” In fact, I vow to help lead the crusade!

    Christina Perez says:

    January 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    should read “Madison Avenue, which wants the BROADEST possible viewership…”

    Ellen Samrock says:

    January 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    As has already been mentioned, simply requiring registration does not necessarily mean that broadcasters will be charging for mobile content (although some premium content could be conditional access). More than likely it will be a way of keeping track of how many and who is watching their channel by mobile means and how much time they spend watching it in this way. The FCC rule of at least one free TV channel will no doubt still apply with mobile DTV.

    Ellen Samrock says:

    January 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Actually, it is the who, how many and how long kind of information that is far more valuable to a broadcaster then simply charging for content.

    Christina Perez says:

    January 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    A sign-up requirement to receive free, over the air transmissions on the PUBLIC airwaves is nothing less than corporate fascism. There are other ways to gather audience data than putting a gun in the public’s back. The hidden agenda here is the end of free over the air television broadcasting in this country. Any sign-up requirement plays into the hands of media elitists who seek to control the CONTENT of, and limit access to, broadcast television, based on the ability to pay.


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