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Why post a brand’s TV commercial on Facebook and YouTube?

/ 12:07 AM October 30, 2015

Question: We’re an advertiser who still believes in tri-media, especially television. Our business friends tell us, however, that TV is no longer the primary media. It’s now social media, Facebook and YouTube in particular. We’re even told that we can drop TV and just go to Facebook and YouTube and we’ll still cover and reach our target market.

Mothers from the C and D socio-economic classes who buy snack food for their children comprise our target market segment. Our research has found that children like our snack food not only for snacks but also for lunch, gifting, game prize, and two or three other uses.

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Our favorite TV ad is Biogesic’s “Ingat.” We tell our ad agency to place our TVC (TV commercial) where Biogesic’s own TVCs are aired, especially now that its TVCs are about mothers or John Lloyd’s mom. However, we were told that it’s not the TVC that made a hit out of that Biogesic advertisement. It’s the postings of those ad video on Facebook and YouTube that endeared the ad to consumers and therefore made the ad a success.

We have several questions and hope you can help us. First. Is it true that Facebook and YouTube will replace TV. Next. Assuming that Facebook and YouTube work, what exactly makes them effective? Third. It’s still the TVC video that Facebook and YouTube are posting. So what role do the Facebook and YouTube postings play in the ad’s high audience reach, likes and sharing? Fourth and last. Is it the ad’s endearing ad copy that’s responsible for the high reach, likes and sharing?

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Answer: Since you’re a regular advertiser, I suppose you’ve gotten some answers to your four related questions from your ad agency. So I’m answering to just corroborate and/or add to what they’ve told you.

Your first question is about whether Facebook and YouTube will replace TV. If “replace” refers to position as primary media, then it’s clear that social media has already done that. It’s now the primary media versus TV. But TV will remain and will not disappear.

Who says so? History says so. The history of advertising media tells us that when there was only mono-media, namely, print, then radio came in.

Mono-media became bi-media. Advertisers went to both radio and print. Then TV arrived. Bi-media became tri-media. Advertisers placed their ads in all three. And then at the turn of the millennium, social media came and we now see most advertisers communicating with their target markets on quad-media. Still, most advertisers are into all four media. But in all and each transition, it was the new media that became the primary media. And so it is today. The new social media has taken over TV as the primary media in most cases.

Let’s proceed to your closely related second, third and fourth questions. What makes Facebook and YouTube effective and what role do they play in the TVC video’s high audience reach, likes and sharing? Is it the ad’s endearing ad copy that’s responsible or something else?

In the same way that you must have consulted your ad agency about your challenging questions, I too asked my ad agency connections. I asked first about the primary purpose of posting in Facebook and YouTube of, say, the Biogesic TV ad video. It’s all about “meshing” and the meshing story is this.

A TV viewer like a millennial (24-36 year old) mom is a busy multitasking TV viewer. While she’s watching TV, she will change her baby’s wet diaper while at the same time answer her ringing mobile phone and switch off an oven and stir the boiling stew inside. She may even have her laptop on and viewing and listening to Bocelli and Dion’s “The Prayer.”

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The moment the 30-second Biogesic TVC comes on, it’s likely that this consumer touch point may have been missed and stolen by any one of those other diversions. The meshing idea behind the posting is to provide the additional touch points to the missed TVC. The ad agency account planner and insighting group refers to the viewer’s behavior not so much as multitasking as “multiscreening.” It’s the act of screening a series of overlapping stimuli vying for the viewer’s attention.

This is what’s on the marketer or more precisely, the ad agency side of the question. There is the other side of the effectiveness equation, namely, the consumer behavior. My own hypothesis is that this side is not just 50 percent of what’s going on but much more.

Any Facebook or YouTube listening viewer of the Biogesic TVC video who felt “touched” by what she saw and heard will talk about it online. These word-of-mouse and word-of-mobile message relays multiply the ad’s reach, likes and sharing. It is the key success driver.

So was this because of the “endearing” ad copy or something else? The ad copy provided the “conversation value” for the word-of-mouse/mobile message relays. But it was the Facebook and the YouTube that were the distribution channels along which the multiplication of the reach, likes and sharing was made possible. Both ad copy and the social media were necessary.

As message distributor, the social media played the role of the “media weight” for the TVC. So is media weight or the expensive media schedule necessary for TV advertising now that social media can perform the media weight function? It’s a hypothesis and therefore a research question. I’d like to research it if I had the budget.

Keep your questions coming. Send them to me at [email protected]

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