Piotr Jakubowski – Mind over Marketing

Take It To The Next Level – TV Ads Online
January 16, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: advertising, learning, marketing

Maybe I haven’t been in the industry long enough to understand this and after a brief discussion with none other than boguskyrection,  I’ve decided that this question has bothered me for a long time:

Why don’t advertisers make their TV spots available online?

Having worked at a few different agencies, I’ve seen the amount of money, blood, sweat and tears going into the process of making each and every spot great (or not). With the production costs in the hundreds of thousands (sometimes more) and mediabuys hitting the millions, you’d think that these companies would take an extra step putting their things online.

Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. Passability – As we see with the explosion of sites like YouTube and Facebook, people love to share links with each other, especially video clips. An available link/URL online would allow people to pass the ad around to others, putting the message in front of all eyes multiple times. One thing that is not recorded in magazine statistics is pass-along rate – why not make an effort to make things available for this to happen online?
  2. Repetition – Each time a video online is watched, an impression is made. Everytime it is passed around, the same thing happens. The only difference is that the video is now being watched on the consumer’s time. Also, if it’s passed around between friends, it gains slightly more credibility in that it doesn’t seem forced on to viewers. If I watched an ad on TV yesterday that I liked, I can send it to 10 of my friends who might not have been watching IronChef at the same time yesterday. Ten extra impressions at zero cost.
  3. Cost  – Adding an extra page to a company website or adding an account on YouTube is free. Although it’s not as simple to track the ROI (although there are ways), it costs almost nothing to make these clips available online.

The one thing I could think of that would stand in the way of this is copyright law, specifically rights to the songs in the clip or image rights for the actors/actresses in it. Not only is this a variable cost (copyright law isn’t set in stone and can be changed to reflect the changing times), but doesn’t an advertiser buy the rights to a song or image rights anyway – regardless of whether the spot is on air? And what if the spot goes off air, wouldn’t all the extra impressions be worth it?

What do you think?

I leave you with a clip that I CAN pass around because it has been made available online by its company.


Pssst. Here are the stats for all you ROI junkies
“The Next Level” – 626,729

Nikesoccer Channel
Videos Watched: 1,279
Subscribers: 11,127
Channel Views: 1,172,184)



4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Excellent idea, and even better examination of the topic. I’d love to find out why.

Gatorade did an almost excellent job with the “G” campaign. The commercials are amazingly ambiguous – so any interested viewer immediately googles something like “what is g?”.

Try for yourself to see how gatorade stayed one step ahead.

(the only problem – it wasn’t up when the commercials first aired)

Comment by boguskyrection

I agree that this is an awesome idea (especially for students and ad fiends like you and me). Having worked in the industry though, there are several issues from a legal aspect.

Talent fees – Like you suspected, there are certain royalties paid to the principal actors used in each spot. Although royalties vary by the intended usage (online vs offline etc) generally you buy-out certain periods to be able to use an actor. This ensures that the actor does not go an act in another spot for a rival company, which would cause confusion. At the end of the time period, the agency can choose to renew or not. If they do renew, they continue to use the spot. if they don’t, the actor can move on freely, but the agency/brand is no longer allowed to use the spot officially and if they do, can suffer legal consequences from talent unions.

Hope that sheds light on the situation.

Comment by Seij

[…] marketing, based on word of mouth and an extremely high pass along rate has been around for years, but the rise in internet use has created an even more efficient platform […]

Pingback by Burger King: Threes a Charm | Respinning The Web

[…] who really cares – because at the end of the day the PR outweighs everything. With a few people passing it along online, the campaign goes […]

Pingback by A Different Kind of Chocolate | Respinning The Web

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