Is TV really still trouncing the web when it comes to ads?

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Delegates to the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival were in need of some good news, accustomed as they are to the view that the internet is inches away from swallowing their entire medium and raison d’etre. So imagine their delight when they were informed that “most consumers still consider TV the most impactful advertising medium”, according to a new report released by Deloitte last week.

The survey, conducted amongst 4 000 UK-based adults, confirmed that TV’s status had dropped from 64% of consumers in 2009 who considered it the most impactful, to 57%. Nevertheless, there is still a healthy margin above the next competitor, newspapers, which stand at 15%.

When it came to the web itself, four percent of people believe that search is the most effective advertising media, followed by three percent for web banners, three percent for web video, and one for in-app advertising.

Of course, data like this is notoriously unpredictable and should not be taken with too much weight. After all, can consumers really be relied upon to pinpoint the exact moment when they decided they were going to make a purchase? Not really. A well-rounded advertising campaign should play across the strengths of all the mediums mentioned in the survey.

But it does reinforce the notion that it’s far too early to write off the traditional media and herald the internet as the one true force for selling product in the world. Consumers are not there yet, and may not ever get there.

The article did prompt an interesting discussion amongst users who were able to successfully pinpoint many of the issues which it brings up. Stanford Crane wrote that “This is very valuable information that most VCs overlook, because it doesn’t support their investment thesis. They should actually be investing in properties that cross all platforms, including TV.” Simon Tunstill weighed in with the theory that “the internet is not an advertising medium but a technology that delivers lots of things, including lots of types of advertising (including TV).”

Ultimately, the survey reinforces the idea that the best campaigns are using traditional media to put across a big picture and then following up with a sophisticated marketing campaign online which seeks to deliver on the expectations that traditional media sets up.

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