Three Reasons to Include “Traditional Media” in Your Ad Budget in 2019 & Beyond


Bruce Mendelsohn, Principal, The Hired Pen

Bottom Line Up Front:

  • The demise of traditional media is exaggerated.
  • Watching TV ain’t what it used to be.
  • Digital advertising alone won’t ensure your brand reaches and resonates.

In the beginning, all media was traditional: television, radio, newspapers, books, and magazines. And advertisers found it good. Then came disruptive digital. And advertisers were confused. Now, we understand that traditional (“offline”) and digital (“online”) advertising offer consumers an array of choices for when, where and how they view content and the ads we pay to accompany that content.

Let’s look at TV: With TV viewership trending down, advertisers are throwing money at digital. Last year, digital advertising overtook TV advertising, and the gap between the two is widening. Despite the tremendous growth and increasing popularity of online and mobile advertising, TV is still the greatest megaphone to communicate your message to the masses.

This is true especially as what it means to “watch TV” evolves: mobile and streaming options offer TV to consumers via live programming, DVR, on-demand and more. Addressable TV and audience targeting lets advertisers focus their TV advertising on specific audiences.

According to “Evaluating the Effectiveness of TV Advertising in the Modern Media Landscape,” a white paper from Neustar,

“TV has a significant cross-product halo effect on the brand’s portfolio outside of the one being featured in the advertisement, with one brand attributing 35% of sales to non-advertised products. Meanwhile, removing TV and implementing standalone digital strategy has an average negative halo effect of -18% on ROI.”

If you think it’s important to include TV in your advertising quiver (some people are digital die-hards), here are four questions to consider when deciding how much to allocate to this traditional media:

  • How effective is TV advertising for your industry?
  • How much TV exposure does your brand/product/message need?
  • How can you use behavioral ad targeting via on-demand or DVR options?
  • How to leverage TV’s cross-product “halo effect” on your other advertising channels?

With advertising dollars so precious, plan your traditional and digital ad campaigns to be mutually supportive. TV exposure usually prompts digital demand, so increase your digital ad budget around when your ads are scheduled. Every advertising and marketing strategy should include a mix of traditional and digital tactics that build awareness of your brand, products, mission or messages across different channels.

About the Author: Bruce Mendelsohn is Principal of The Hired Pen, a award winning communications, branding and messaging firm based in the Boston area. Specializing in integrating and measuring the effectiveness of digital marketing, content development, PR and social media campaigns, Mr. Mendelsohn has promoted brands including McGruff the Crime Dog, researched and developed content for Congressional reports and testimony, helped launch a digital marketing firm, and raised millions of dollars to fund construction of the National Law Enforcement MuseumA Top 100 Branding Expert to Follow on Twitter, Mr. Mendelsohn has been quoted in the New York Times for his social media expertise. A native Washingtonian and U.S. Army veteran, Mr. Mendelsohn was a civilian First Responder at the Boston Marathon bombing and serves on the Executive Board of the BSA’s Heart of New England Council. You can reach him

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Ryan on at 7:03 PM

    I grew up with T.V. not being a big part of my life. We only had two channels ABC and PBS and even when good shows were on, I never was that interested in it.

    Now, “T.V.” is YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, Netflix…..however these platforms only pay if you reach a threshold and only if the publisher of the video wanted your brand advertised on their channel. Or, the subscriber can pay a little extra and remove ads all together so your reach is declined further. Facebook is starting to implement Ad’s into their videos but if you click the button and ask, “Why am I seeing this?” they will straight up tell you, “the publisher of the video gets paid to have this in their video.”

    Digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. are more necessary than T.V. because that’s where people are. YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and soon Disney are going to be the prime location to pay for your adverts to be shown.

    If you want your advertisement in front of people now, you have to hire YouTubers and have them add the commercial in their videos or else you will get skipped. Paid adverts on T.V. really is a waste of money now a days and with the rising cost of cable T.V. and the standard price of Netflix, Hulu, etc. its even less of a consideration.