MI Media Business Director, Kelly Kershaw, recently attended Campaign’s brilliantly curated event ‘TV: The Next Episode’ which explored the most pressing issues facing the TV advertising industry. Here she shares her key learnings from the event. 

Like your favourite TV show, I was buzzing for this next episode! Is TV dead? Who killed it? How is it all going to end? Well, spoiler alert… I can tell you it is certainly not dead. In fact, I am convinced that it remains the most exciting, innovative, and bad-ass medium there is. 

Oliver Shayer, Media Director at Boots, kicked off the day by explaining why TV remains so integral to Boots’ media plans: 

  • TV delivers huge scale at speed 
  • Your brand’s messaging is delivered against quality, vetted content 
  • It is effective both from an ROI perspective and for building brand equity 
  • TV remains the most entertaining and impactful channel on a plan 

These are all things that have held true for TV since the dawn of time, but it’s clear that Boots, like many other brands, has had to become more adaptable, innovative and creative in its planning to address one of the key challenges facing the media industry: fragmentation.  

Clever use of data has been integral to how Boots has faced this challenge. As the home to 16 million Advantage Card holders, Boots was able to integrate its first party data with all the major broadcasters. In doing so, it has seen a four-fold uplift in effectiveness, a clear lesson for all brands on the importance of collecting and harnessing their own data.  

While Boots also has the resources as a big advertiser to adapt quickly to any new learnings, every advertiser can tackle the issues of media fragmentation by taking an effective approach to TV measurement against both short and long-term metrics. It’s clear that advertisers and media agencies need to “measure what matters, not just what can be counted”. 

How are advertisers, media owners and planners addressing media’s fragmentation challenge and turning it into opportunities?  

First up, there isn’t a decline in TV viewing. Instead, we should take the view that there is more choice, people are finding more passion points and consumers can now choose what, when and how they want to watch it. It has never been more important to put the audience at the heart of planning.  

Channel 4’s Veriça Djurdjevic highlighted the shift for media owners, “It’s not about bringing people in as we’ve previously done, but about pushing content out.” That’s about knowing where people want to watch. Is it on the big screen main channel? On catch up? Or even on YouTube? What is known is that, as more people are watching more content across a more fragmented ecosystem, everyone needs to continue working hard to develop experiences, campaigns and creatives that retain the magic of TV. There are far fewer ‘big event’ moments that bring huge audiences together at one time (with the exception of live sport). Instead, the equity that TV can drive for your brand is almost wholly based on the reach and frequency it can deliver with brand-safe, broadcast-quality content.  

The role of creativity in TV advertising 

The most exciting, energetic, and entertaining sessions of the day were from a series of creative wizards. Matthew Waksman, Head of Strategy, Ogilvy UK and James Millers & Andrew Long, Creative Directors at Leo Burnett dazzled us with some brilliant TV ads. They shared the insights that led to each creative approach and discussed the most important things to remember when being creatively spectacular. As someone with a background in DR-advertising, I always believed you needed to load the creative with reasons to respond (benefits, benefits, benefits baby!). But according to Waksman, it shouldn’t be about single-minded messaging, instead, “it’s about identifying the feeling you want people to have after seeing the ad – and then amplifying it.”  


As I sat watching fabulously entertaining TV ads, one question that kept niggling in the back of my mind was how can we do this authentically for what have historically been considered low interest categories? The answer came from Vicky Maguire, Chief Creative Officer, Havas London who said,we are barging into people’s homes, so we have a duty to be as entertaining as possible. If 76% of brands disappeared overnight, we wouldn’t give a shit. We need to be in that 24%.” She went on to highlight the importance of being consistent, but surprising. To know the role you play in people’s lives and do it well. A key takeout for our team at MI Media is that creativity provides the best opportunity to drive the biggest step change for a brand. This isn’t just about brilliant ads, but being creative in our planning, placement, use of data, measurement and collaboration.  


Key takeaways

TV: The Next Episode left me excited about the future of TV and how we can address current challenges so that it remains a big hitter on any marketing plan. For me it all comes down to data, collaboration and creativity: 

  • Data: the insight, targeting capability, quality, and measurement opportunity TV offers is vast – if it’s used and collected intelligently 
  • Collaboration: the challenges in the current landscape have led to more discussion and debate than ever before. Thankfully this has brought with it a feeling of collaboration between advertisers, agencies and media. This can only lead to better, more innovative work for everyone 
  • Creativity: I’m going to shout about creativity again as it really did come across as the biggest opportunity. Plus, if we’re all honest, that’s the work where we can say, “Look Mum…I was involved in that!”  


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