How TV has changed the way audiences engage with brands

Think back a couple of decades, and it’s incredible to see so many advancements in television and streaming. Where before we would sit in front of a TV at a particular time, unable to pause or skip through the ads, now we can pause, rewind, fast-forward, and even record our favourite shows. Better still, if we forget to record something, it’s usually on demand.

We may look back and wonder how we coped before, unable to catch up on our favourite shows at the drop of a hat. Now, not only can we catch up with shows straight away, we can also stream other shows on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The big question is; where do advertisers fit into this modern paradigm?  A huge part of the modern audience-brand relationship in the contemporary age of television lies in addressable media.

What is addressable media?

In essence, addressable media allows brands to connect with individual consumers, doing so across several advertising platforms from social media to smart TVs. It is through this that we have witnessed a shift in the way consumers respond and engage with advertising.

An important aspect of addressable media is that it should be measurable. Only that way can you know if a campaign has been successful or if there is room for improvement. This could be social media likes, views on a video, or conversions, depending on the aim of the campaign.

According to Forbes, the technology is there for addressable media to be available throughout households during live TV broadcasts, meaning that different viewers could watch the same show with differing experiences in terms of the ads they receive.

The problem, however, is a conflict between MVPDs and networks and who can access certain kinds of data. In the meantime, addressable media often works online via streaming platforms.

The Age of Social Media

When it comes down to brass tacks, social media is responsible for a great deal of this newfound mediascape. Now audiences are more socially active, meaning that they may be looking for more interaction. Influencers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube have arguably played the most sizable role in making this kind of landscape a reality.

These platforms have replaced television for many younger viewers. It’s a new type of audience to cater for, but it’s actually one that allows a lot more flexibility in terms of media campaigns. Nowadays, advertisers can target consumers in a more nuanced way, rather than the usual one-size-fits-all method of years gone by.

Advertisers are able to go beyond the simplistic attributes of age, location and gender. Tracking an Instagram or YouTube history allows for ads that users may actually be interested in. They may even find exactly what they are looking for as a result.

So as businesses fight to find new ways to compete in a hostile and often difficult marketplace, there are certainly worse ways in which to compete that through addressability.

Another question to think about is; what will the next stage of this development be? Given how far advertising and streaming has come in the last couple of decades, watching its progress over the next ten to fifteen years will undoubtedly be fascinating.